Yep. Title doesn’t lie. We now own three magical money pits. Who’s the new third horse? Knots! Maggie and I worked out a deal, and now he’s mine-all-mine!
With that awesome news out of the way, we had a dressage lesson this morning. The sky was pretty ominous, but we went for it. Then S texted us when we were halfway there saying that we shouldn’t come if we aren’t already on the way. That’s always a good sign.
Anyways, we got there and it hadn’t started raining yet. I tacked Knots up and we got right to work, no slow-mo bs when the rains are coming. Warm-up was walk/trot transitions and working on keeping the outside rein connection. I’ve been dropping him as soon as he tries to take up the contact, and that silliness needs to stop. He warmed up really quietly. No tossing of the head and limited stumbles. Just ambling along at the same pace.
We went to the canter and mostly the same thing: balanced, even pace and accepting contact. And me not throwing away the outside rein. We cantered in the other direction and then took a mini-break while Maggie worked with Bear.
Then crazy things happened! S suggested we work on leg yields. Apparently I’ve been thinking about the leg yield wrong this entire time… we needed to be straight, not bent around the inside leg. Knots has no problem moving off the leg, but he wants to be bent. Moving off the right leg was better. To the left I wasn’t giving enough outside aids to make him stay straight, and so he was just bending and then moving. Not a leg yield. We did some circles to re-establish that he had to listen to my outside rein and that helped a lot.
About that time, the weather took a nasty turn. It started raining steadily about the time we started cantering. When we were finishing up the leg yields, the sky started throwing down lightning bolts. We got off at that point and finished up.
All in all, it was a nice morning to reflect on how far we have come. I’ve been riding Knots for three just over three years, and taking dressage lessons for two. We have learned so much, and I had a horse that was immediately relaxed and trying to figure out what I wanted, instead of our initial bracing and running. Good things ahead 🙂