So, I was reminded yesterday about the basics: the things you take for granted once you have achieved them, but they never really diminish in importance.
(sidenote: was in a TERRIBLE mood yesterday. Work was driving me up the wall – still kind of is- and I pulled a muscle in my calf in a treadmill accident. Was it to be a recipe for success for my dressage lesson? Read more and you’ll find out…)
Warmed Oats up for my lesson and he was in a rare mood- extremely forward, and still very grabby and snatchy with the reins and rooting. So, an interesting combination. Overall I was actually surprised about well he was taking this whole ‘back into dressage lesson’s business. But in general, the lesson made me feel annoyed about him not giving me as much as I wanted or expected.
That leads me back to the basics part. Things I now take for granted (some bend, very forward pony when I used to have to kick and pummel him forward, knows how to leg yield mostly?) I kind of forget about when I’m like, why can’t you get with the program, horse??
Bend- some success, some struggle. I had to stay with the struggle and we figured it out 50% of the time.
Lateral work- this was kind of a huge fail. Felt like we were charging drunkenly around the arena, and I felt out of control. Not worried, just…Like I wasn’t the one managing the situation? This was somewhat remedied by altering the exercise to focus first on leg yield, then straight, then back to leg yield with *just a hint* of bend in the direction we were going. Jury’s still out on if we achieved this at all, but at least I felt like I was gaining more control over the situation.
Trot- extremely forward, go go go go. Even when I was wanting him to stretch down, he just kept powering off- I was like ARGH why are you fighting me on this Oats, just stretch for crying out loud! Chalk this one up to Oats winning.
Canter- ehh. Got it, and then he was very resistant, wouldn’t bend, tried to fall in, etc.
So, I was reminded that while we were kind of flailing and lousy at some of these exercises, the fact that he was doing them without having a major mental breakdown was also a win, and showed significant progress from last year.
Sometimes with each ride there is no real ‘win’ in the ride, but an acknowledgement of achievement- a bigger picture story, per se. So, as I’m seeing it in perspective from last year to this year, I’m not quite as grouchy about our lateral fails or our resistant canter/trot.
Also- man, I should take a week off Oats before every dressage or jump lesson. He had SO MUCH GO and this is a pony who’s fav gait is stop.????? My calf muscle hurt a lot after that ride, yeeeeesh, but is feeling more like just a very hard knot today and I can walk on it more.