The horse knows when you know, and knows when you don’t know. Ray Hunt.
And boy, ain’t it the truth!
Last night was our semi-private dressage lesson with Karen Brain, and we worked on a VERY deceptively challenging exercise- a diamond pattern, using the dressage letters in the ring as a guide for the diamond.
The goal: Straightness to each letter, horse forehead lands on the letter, and then a mild pivot – front legs only- to the next letter in the diamond shape.
The reality? A muddle of lateral movement, extreme wiggling, fussy behaviour, sucking back behind the leg, throwing hips around, front legs move too laterally again…Oh it went on!
Also the reality: Riding lessons during Halloween night= nonstop fireworks. Constantly! UGH it felt like we were riding during some sort of war. The horses were as good as gold though and saved our butts. I think it also helped that the exercise was very technically challenging and required a lot of focus, so not a lot of ‘fluffing around’ time for them to start getting silly.
The exercise was at the walk, and then we’d go walk- canter-walk from each letter in the diamond shape. It became QUITE evident that the pieces would fall apart quickly here- and we, as riders, didn’t really know what we were doing…And the horses picked up on it fast.
Oats expressed his concern at the exercise by ‘dolphin-leaping’ instead of say, picking up a nice canter. HA. He did it a few times and luckily I didn’t get unseated, but I sure did lose my reins and had to collect them up in a hurry!
We got say, 2-3 nice transitions out of oh..100. And that is progress! It was a very tough and technical lesson, but everytime I got frustrated or annoyed, Karen was like this is hard, it’s hard for the horses and hard for you so just keep trying and something will work out. It did!
Lots of learning last night for sure.