A few weeks ago, my instructor was having everyone run through dressage tests in their lessons. While overschooling the tests is bad, it’s a good sanity check to run through them every once in a while.
I finished the first run-through and gave her a helpless, hapless sort of look. She sent me off to try again.
During the second run-through, some of my shapes actually resembled the figures in the test and were performed in the general vicinity of the desired marker, usually while staying within the ring.* This was an improvement, believe it or not.
The really good news was that I had some really nice canter moments. Since I have a mental block about the canter right now, this was a huge improvement for me. I felt like I was finally getting back the feel and ability to sit that I lost.
That was confirmed a lesson or two later, when I had one of those very memorable lessons. The horse was incredibly loose and relaxed, just completely “on” and ready to go. I felt like I was actually riding again and not being carried along like a sack of potatoes.
Beyond that, I had some additional travel for a work project, so riding has been a little difficult. I have some opportunities to ride outside lessons if I can ever sort out my schedule (lots of overtime at the moment), so I’m trying to find a way to make that work.
I feel like I should be posting more, but this is just one of those periods where there is a lot going on and yet nothing much to talk about in detail. Maybe once my work schedule quiets down a bit.
*The dressage ring is marked out by cones contained within a larger arena. Even more than the traditional low-rail dressage courts, this setup requires the rider to keep the horse in the ring—the horses don’t care which side of the cones they pass on, so there is nothing at all to help the rider out.
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