Friday, December 30, 2022

Dressage (with media!) and Gymnastics (with media!)

Ben and I had a phenomenal dressage lesson on yesterday. We did a real leg yield left! I'm not sure I've ever in my life done a real leg yield in that direction. Probably because I've never gotten a horse really off my right leg because I never have used it actively enough AND let go of my right rein. We started with moving his barrel over at the trot, first on a three loop serpentine. Then once he was soft and bendy through his back we added a bit more power to it. Then we'd lose the soft back so we'd let the power fade a little bit to get the complete softness again on a 10m circle. Rinse and repeat. Tracking right I had to use my right leg SO MUCH more than I usually do. Probably about as active as my left leg is all the time, I'm that uneven. And then let go of the holding right rein. But once I did, WOW! A complete bend through his body. Then the leg yield just flowed naturally from that. So cool! 

We moved into the canter then. The canter we couldn't yet add any power to it, just focused on softness. But it was amazing how light and in front of me he felt. I could turn completely from my body and legs (or maybe because I was turning completely from my body and legs he was staying soft). 

A kind friend of Steph's filmed our left lead canter. It is a 4 minute video, not the usually pithy blog content, but Steph's commentary really makes it useful for me. 

He slipped behind twice still at the trot, so that hasn't magically disappeared with the hock injections. But overall he felt SO much better. Even and really willing to sit and push. 

We went back down today for a gymnastics lesson. It was three bounces to a one stride vertical to a one stride oxer, both one strides had placing poles in them. It was SO GOOD for both of us. I think part of Ben's problem in combinations is he fixates on the whole line, especially the end, and starts worrying about the last piece and therefore flubs the pieces in between. 

When suddenly the vertical grew limes and we jumped in a very special way

He was also pretty fixated on the placing poles and struggled with that. But he was trying the whole time and even when he jumped the vertical as above, he jumped out over the oxer like this: 

Overall a really good boy. JT wants us to go through it one more time before it is disassembled and removed from the ring as her dressage trainer moves in for the winter season. Hopefully we can make that happen! 

Making a much nicer shape over the vertical

Good boy! 


  1. oh man --- well done thru that grid!! i love how he fought for it!

    1. He has gotten SO MUCH better about fighting for it. That phrase is exactly what we've focused on this fall. So we still do a lot of derping, combo of both of our faults, but then he fights to get through the line no matter what.