Today was a flatwork/dressage day. I know what you’re all thinking—“Okay, she’s about to rant about how much she hates dressage again.” But today that is not the case!! Today’s ride was GREAT! I was calm, but used my mind, and thought about what I was doing. Being calm and unemotional is key for me, and whenever I ride like that I always have great rides. I think I need to take a Xanax before every ride so I can always be calm…
So I started out my ride with simple leg yields to and from the rail at the walk in both directions, then used my opposite aids (left leg and left seat bone to right rein, vice versa) to get Watching in a more compact frame. Then I started to trot, and when i felt him evading my contact I did a transition exercise, where I picked up the trot, trotted for a few strides, and then did the downward transition to the walk. After only a couple of strides at the walk, I pick the trot back up. After a few goes at this, Watching began anticipating the upward transition, which also means he was collecting himself in advance. At the trot, I did some leg yields and shoulder-ins. I then practiced my sitting trot without stirrups, so I can start to gain some muscle memory for how to sit without bouncing around everywhere, although Watching’s trot is not too uncomfortable. At the canter I did the same transition exercise, although I find that Watching has more trouble keeping his top line rounded and full at the canter; it’s like his neck and jaw locks in certain places and he can only get to a certain point before his is on his forehand. I again did leg yields, and even did some counter-canter just for kicks and giggles.
I got off smiling and Watching was satisfied with the amount of treats he got. Stay warm everyone!!