Before/After: The way I was/the way I want to be?

Before: Oats and I in the indoor arena. We had our fair share of struggles at the canter- getting it was hard, maintaining it was hard, bend was hard, not bucking was hard…

Winter Oats- canter

Winter riding- Oats canters: photo credit to Jodie Wright

After: August 2014 at the Sooke Saddle Club. So, we’ve got the impulsion down pat, but we still need a bit of help directing it. His enthusiasm is growing at least, for flat work! It was a fun and successful show (after loudly proclaiming I was NEVER going to show dressage again after our disastrous first few shows this season, wtf?) haha I guess I am back at it!

Sooke Saddle Club

Sooke Saddle Club: photo credit to Ian

AND of course, to be as humble as I can…We have rides that look like this: Oats the Giraffe-horse. Dressage is hard, guys!

Oats the giraffe

Oats the giraffe: Photo credit to Daytona

Following up on this, we had a lesson with Karen Brain yesterday. I am not sure what is going on, but apparently I need lessons to keep me honest, out of Oats’ face, and a better person. Yes that’s right, accountability keeps me nicer, and a nicer rider to Oats (not a pushover, but more solid and asking the right questions). I am NOT a pushover anymore! But I also don’t need to pick unnecessary fights either… I had a blah week, where my rides felt Just ‘eh’ …

The last straw was Monday, where I felt unenthusiastic, Oats felt really blah, and he was a spooky, argumentative little punk.

Ding ding ding..Time for a lesson!

And so it was. And, pretty good! Not pretty, but not as ugly as before. We worked on picking up a canter lead on a straight line, no ‘cheat’ bending to get it. And it was very tough but more ‘rewarding tough’ than ‘what is this BS-tough’ that I felt before. Hah. So, we did it! Once! Ahhh the slide into mediocrity sure feels gooooood…(ok we are maybe sort of mediocre but I can at least TRY dressage sometimes!)

But I felt more ‘me’ and Oats felt more ‘him’ with the lesson. We need them, for our relationship building.

Hey this before/after thing is fun. I’ll dig up some (god awful) jumping pix for showcasing sometime!

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