Thursday, June 30, 2011
Feelin' Hot, Hot, Hot!
Yesterday was our lesson day, after our very interesting ride through town on Monday, where Moon seemed to suddenly start understanding the contact I've been searching for. I wasn't certain how it would go, and I headed out to her place a little anxious...
Typical me. Moon had survived the night swimmingly in his 'KoolCoat', and yes, he was cool beneath it. I like to think it saved him a bit of bug bites on his sides and back, which makes me feel better. Unfortunately I had to leave it off last night since we'll be MIA all weekend and I won't get to check up on him.
His uber cute braids were still in place, which I should say that Coach W loved! Something in the rainbow and their look just enhanced him. Let's face it, he's cute to begin with ; )
The weather was hot and humid, making everything sticky. At W's, he didn't want to move any faster then a walk, and standing still made you sweat like crazy. Because we ride in the indoor, there was next to no wind, though at least there was shade. Such cruelty.
We tried to avoid too much trotting in the hot weather, and despite a few spooks at the creaks of the building, Moon was in fine form. And me? Fine form as well. W commented on my much improved position, and just how much better I was carrying myself.
At a trot clockwise, I FINALLY was able to get the most wonderful leg yielding out of him. W has been telling me over and over to "bump" him with my inside leg, and I've never 'gotten' this concept. It sounds dumb, but I'd sort of pull my leg out, tense it, and then press it to his side. It never worked really well. The other thing she kept telling me was to "follow his sides with your legs". I thought I was, until yesterday when I suddenly GOT IT. My legs swung easily with his belly and when it came over, I'd give it a little extra 'bump'. It's really hard to describe, but I felt like I was suddenly riding very differently.
And suddenly I was making a much better connection with my horse. W told me that normally she doesn't tell people to sit deep. In most riders it causes them to sit too far back in the saddle, where for me it actually helps me relax deeper into the saddle instead of perching atop it as I normally do.
As we went around the circle at a trot, he gave me a WONDERFUL leg yield. He was in form, rhythmic, rounded, supple, lifting his shoulders, just EVERYTHING you want out of your horse. It was without doubt the most beautiful movement I have gotten from him to date.
And how did we end it? With a PERFECT halt, neck horizontal, head low, mouth in contact with the bit AND all four feet square. W said to me that next year we're going to ROCK the Level 1 Dressage test, what with 16 easy points picked up just from the way he stops!
His counterclockwise was not as stellar, but we gradually improved on it. He has a tendency to fall in on the circle, and after some investigative work, we discovered that he actually moves into my inside leg when going counterclockwise, as opposed to away. One more thing to work on, right?!
He really is evolving into a good little dressage horse, and I know that if we keep it up we'll make progress. For next week, since he's getting his teeth done on Friday and I have an appointment on Wednesday, I'm going to try for a "me-centric" lesson on Monday instead. And then Moon can go back to training the following week. Hopefully the weather finally cools down, as I'm not overly fond of sweating like crazy just standing still in the shade!
Posted by Sand. at 7:19 AM