Wednesday, June 23, 2021

A lesson!

Yoshi and I took a dressage lesson this morning. Not with my beloved dressage trainer who has unfortunately been harder and harder to get scheduled with, but with a new dressage trainer who Ms. GY rides with regularly. We hauled down there in her trailer, a two horse slant with a rear tack. Yoshi loaded fine on the way there, but was confused about backing out in a L shape. He hesitated getting in it on the way home, but it only took a light tap tap with the dressage whip to encourage him. 

Ms. GY rode first so Yoshi got the chance to look around some. There's a track on the next property, but he didn't really seem to care much. When it was our turn, I fumbled through our introductions. It's hard to figure out what's relevant. I rode second level... 14 years ago at this point. Is that useful information when that's definitely not the level I could ride at today? I think Yoshi is wonderful, but do you need to know that? We go in the shape and gait I planned on about 90% of the time, but you'll see that for yourself in the next few minutes, so do I need to say it now? We've only really been working together for 2 months, does that matter? 

Awkward introductions aside, we got right to work with bending to the inside. Inside hand back towards my inside hip. NOT in the timing of the stride, that will shorten the stride and make him rein lame. Inside leg and seat push over to maintain the direction of travel and keep him from following his nose in. To the right I was definitely wanting to use an indirect rein. When I did it her way he bent instead of tilting. Once he gave to the inside rein then the outside aids can come in to play to keep him there, holding the frame with the outside hand that my inside leg is now pushing into. The second he stiffens, hollows, leans, or examines the world outside the ring, then the inside rein again activates to get the bend back, gently over 3 strides, not pulling over 1. She said she wants the right spot to be comfortable and quiet. Like walking down a path with pricker bushes on all sides. You fall off the path and get pricked and it's uncomfortable until you're back on the path. The right choice is soft and comfortable, it is easy to be there. 

When asking for the upwards transitions if he doesn't do it just repeat the aid. If you're teaching someone a foreign language and you say a word they don't understand then you don't say it differently the next time, you just repeat it. He MUST stay soft and bent during the transitions. She was impressed with him overall, especially his willingness and balance when working through the soupier parts of the ring. She also got onto me about rounding my shoulders and tipping my head forward, it was wonderful. 

We did a LOT in 30 minutes. Trot to canter to trot to canter to trot. Frequent direction changes. Poor kid looked exhausted afterwards. She remarked that he wasn't very fit. Well, no, not at all in the way you mean. Could he go out and trot for 20 minutes and recover HR and RR quickly? Yes, but is he fit in terms of carrying himself and lifting his back? Nope! He looked relaxed though, that nice sleepy look in his eye as he stood tied at the trailer with Ms. GY's horse. 

We have another lesson scheduled next week, Ms. GY and I are just going to take turns hauling, it works out well! She filmed some of my ride this morning, but her phone won't send the videos so they will likely never appear here. I brought the pivo but stupidly forgot to set it up. 


  1. that sounds like a perfect lesson set up!! esp since you can take turns with the driving, nice! and omg, charlie is pretty sure canter-trot-canter rapid fire transitions are actual hell-on-earth for poor suffering ponies lol...

    1. It is a really great set up. I'm so happy to be boarding with people who have similar taste in trainers!