It felt like I hadn’t had a solid dressage lesson in forever! We had a break due to a change in my fellow rider’s schedule, so yesterday I was quite interested in getting back on the dressage train.
And you know what? It was a really good, solid and comprehensive lesson. We first worked on some modified quarter-turn on the haunches at each corner, focusing on getting the horse to move off your leg instead of ‘pulling’ around the turn. Then, we focused on getting the turn ‘all the way around’ instead of just a quarter. I had to expand my circle because Oats wanted to pivot off the hind end, instead of turning his shoulders more.
It was actually way harder than it looked or than I thought it was going to be. And we sucked at it on the left rein, yeesh. Oh well!
Next we worked on positioning for Travers lateral work with actually some really solid progress at the walk. When we moved up to trot it was…interesting. Some things I learned and need to remind myself: Lower is always good, so allow Oats to reach/stretch his neck down when he feels resistant. If it seems awkward and too hard, break it down. Move off leg for one side. Then ask for the inside bend on the other side.
Make it really clear what you are asking: Bend. Move off leg. One at a time. THEN try combining the pieces, relaxing the pressure as you ask. Give-take, give-take.
We even got ‘some’ positioning at the trot (which was described to be as a banana shape, the horse forms a banana and you travel that way haha), which surprised me as it was kind of tricky for Oats to understand and I wasn’t expecting him to get it in the lesson. Go us!! He wanted to stretch hardcore after that and got fussy. To be expected, and actually his attitude towards the whole lesson was great- he wasn’t having any hissy fits, hopping up and down, or anything! WOW! I think that was the first time I’ve been able to ask for lateral work of such comprehensiveness without some squawking from Oats.
Go Oats go! Some really great efforts and grown up work from the pony. 🙂