Adventures in Dressage Land I

     Normally I write about my exploits with Jellybean or Oberon, but today I am taking a detour and writing about something specific to my riding. Ok, and maybe one of my other favorite horses, Knots. Knots is 15.2hh something. He has some kind of drafty head and smaller hip. He has a very laid back attitude on the ground, but has been known to have enough spunk under saddle to gallop off into the sunset. He is very athletic and jumps easily. He also works well off your seat and changes leads and stride length with ease. He is certainly an interesting challenge to ride.

     Anyways, Knots and I have had a great time jumping around and galloping through the pasture. We haven’t worked so much in the arena on anything like contact etc. So here goes our first dressage lesson. We got to the arena and exactly the time to start (all kinds of preparation and I’m still running late). I hopped on and we started trotting around a circle. The instructor watched for a few minutes and then started making comments about rhythm. She talked about the importance of keeping the same rhythm the entire time. So we worked on keeping the same rhythm while she made some minor comments about posture.

     As we continued through the lesson, we started talking about the importance of the horse bending around your leg. We applied inside leg and used the rein to bend to the inside while pushing the horse out to the outside leg. Knots didn’t get it. His first reaction was to fall onto the leg I was using to push him over. Since we were having trouble the instructor broke it down to a simpler movement. We stopped in the arena and started executing a turn on the forehand. As before he tried to lean first, but then he decided to try something different and figured out the whole turning thing really quickly.

     And so we moved on to the walk, and trot, and eventually canter. Knots figured out circle left easily, but circle right is proving to be more difficult. As he became more tired, he wanted to fight my right rein more, but hopefully we can keep improving. The real challenge here will be making more time to ride. Cause that is always my challenge. Time isn’t free, and apparently my time is highly desired by other things, like my degree plan.

     I am really excited to start taking some lessons, even if I can’t ride Boberon the Lame. It will be nice to have some concrete goals instead of just po-dunking. I do enjoy po-dunking, and I am not sure I have time for anything else, but I really enjoy planning. This instructor has indicated she might be willing to trailer to XC schooling for gas/mileage fees, which sounds to me like I need a vest 🙂

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