Sunday, 16 September 2012

Dressage Lesson 15.09.12

Allie and I had another lesson with Ann yesterday. We needed one badly.

We worked on going through and forward into the contact, straight lines and the right canter lead.


Ann reminded me it will take years for Allie to be solid in the contact. But her moments are getting better and better, longer and longer.

Ann had us practicing letting allie follow the contact forward and out.

Sucking back and me not taking the contact back too. It is my responsibility to keep the contact a constant and follow her when she sucks back like this.

Example of Allie's moments. First she says "I can't stay through when you ask me to turn!" then "I am an overachiever how great am I?" then finally "This frame is sustainable".

Straight Lines
So - I had been trying to get my wiggly wobbly horse to go in straight lines by trying to straighten her with my legs. Apparently that is impossible (and glaringly obvious now). It is her shoulders I need to keep straight. With my reins. Voila! Straighter lines, happy unconfused pony. I love a simple fix!

Canter, oh canter, why do you remain so elusive?

Left canter is going alright actually - we don't get frazzled and it kinda just magically happens. Right canter though - we both freak out and apparently according to Ann, Allie has kinda gone a little dyslexic. Like, she can;t figure out which way her legs need to go which is why she gets all disunited, swaps to the left lead, spazzes out and rushes, etc. etc. etc. Then I haul on her face to stop her and she takes that as a punishment which makes her worry every time I ask her to work on it again.

I'm to let her truck along and figure it out while keeping her through and forward into the contact prior to the canter transition. If she stuffs it up, DO NOT HAUL ON HER FACE! Let her drop back into the trot again with my voice, then ask again.

We probably won't have this whole canter thing figured out in time for my test. I'm going to take her along anyway, warm her up, see where we are at and if we feel good, do the test. If not, scratch. It's not worth her spazzing out and having a bad experience just for a comp.

A few more pictures:

Boy, this dressage thing is HARD WORK!

p.s. I have dropped a size in jodphurs. So pleased about that! I'm working REALLY hard on my fitness and strength at the gym (I'm totally not a gym person so its a big deal I'm actually going there) and it is starting to show in my riding which is still looking terrible but is getting more effective.


Val said...

Dressage is definitely challenging. The more you know, the more difficult it seems, but the secret is in learning how to allow the horse to move as we imagine. Allowing involves letting go without losing the image we want. My horse will never be an international star, but on some level, he has taught me this.

You will get there! I think Allie is the horse to take you.

Lisa said...

Thanks Val. I think she is too. I WAS thinking of sending her off to a trainer to finish off these issues but I think they will just pop back up again when I get back on her. So I'm spending a bomb on lessons and hiring an indoor arena with lights after work (like, about $60-$120 a week right now). We are getting there, if I look at where we were even 2 months ago we have come a long way. I have to keep reminding myself when I get in a riding funk. :)

Kelly said...

You both are looking so good! I really like the 3 comparision shots, side by side.

Thanks for the comment on my blog about right lead canter...we both will get it! I know half of it is me - weaker side, not being balanced myself, etc.

Adventures of the Super Ponies said...

I think you are looking great. Allie looks like she is really listening to you. And your core looks really strong. I am not suprised you are dropping jod sizes. You looks fantastic!!