Saturday, August 23, 2014

dressage + transformations

Dressage is very new to me. It's always been a bit of a mystery, actually. I understand and appreciate the value of dressage, and why we should seek a balanced and correct way of going. But it's also always felt unattainable to me. 


This picture was taken a few months into my lease with Izzy - maybe spring a year ago. We had finally figured out how to get a consistent speed in all three gaits, regardless of where we were in the arena. That alone felt like a huge victory for me, so I kinda coasted on that for a while, and didn't ask for much else. 


'this is how i go. period.' -Isabel 
'yea ok that's cool.' -me
(photo credit Shelli Ramos)

But getting into eventing means dressage, so I started bi-monthly lessons this past spring with a trainer MP who travels to us. She is slowly but surely reprogramming my hunter perch into something a little more functional. 

Some of my biggest issues right now:
  • loooong reins. seriously - just shorten them!
  • elasticity and 'give' in my contact - I need to allow my upper arms to just hang down instead of always floating them forward and then gripping with my hands / breaking my wrist
  • more leg in the *right* way. My tendency is to nag nag nag with my heels and get my legs all curled up under me (especially my right side). I need to lengthen the muscles and stretch down to close with my calf. 
  • engage the core muscles .... stop collapsing!
I still have a lot of work to do on my own position - particularly at the canter - before I can start expecting really great results from Isabel. 

'ugh get off my back!' -Isabel

somewhat, uh better...

But I'm finally starting to see real progress at the walk and trot - even when I don't have a trainer out there guiding me through it. It feels good!

Our 'transformation' (great idea, Niamh!) is by no means complete, but it's happening. 

'ooh I feel fancy' -Isabel

And I guess that's what it's all about - I'm developing a 'feel' for it, but it's just going to take some time. Fortunately Isabel is a willing partner who really tries. 

Hopefully we'll get our next dressage lesson scheduled in the next week or two!

6 comments:

  1. Your looking good! It's cool to see the comparison.

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    1. Thanks!! It's good for me to see too - helps make it feel real lol

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  2. Replies
    1. thanks! we are slowly but surely getting more nice moments, and each moment lasts a little longer than before

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  3. I pretty much have the same issues you're working through with the dressage thing. Sometimes I get the right feel, but its fleeting...like you think you have a fish on the line, but then poof its gone. Looks like you guys are making great progress!

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    1. thanks! that's exactly it -- like it all boils down to timing, and i'm mentally way too slow right now haha

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