From Endurance to Dressage
A Lesson in Rein Length
Given Sydney's on-again-off-again non-relaxed state of mind during work, the goal is now to teach relaxation. Fortunately, Sydney was very relaxed on Wednesday which made the lesson much easier! The relaxed attitude was no doubt due in part to a change in my attitude (no fear, no fear, no fear). A strong morning gallop during turnout, the warm sunshine, and a mystery ingredient (more about that tomorrow) were probably factors as well. Whatever it was, it was for the good!
This lesson was all about maintaining contact with the longest rein possible. JL had me choose a long rein length that still let me feel the corners of his mouth. I had a gigantic AHA! moment as we repeated the circle over and over again. I could finally feel when the contact wasn't even, especially on the inside rein. To even up the contact, she gave me several choices: widen my hands, raise my hands, or move my elbows back. For me, moving my elbows back is the most difficult thing to do because no matter how bent I think my elbows are, they're not!
Note to self: bend your elbows!
Instead of bending my elbows, I try to compensate by bending my wrists. Check out my hands on the video and you'll see what I mean. Watching the video of the lesson gave me a good look at my body position, most especially my arms. I can see that when I am sitting up with my shoulders back it is easier and more natural to bend my elbows. When I hunch forward and close my chest, I can't bring my elbows back.
Note to self: sit up!
I know some people enjoy watching their own rides. I don't. Cha Ching's Mom [thank you, thank you, thank you!] gave me at least thirty minutes of video to study. I made it through one viewing, and that will be all I can watch. All I see when I watch are the many, many mistakes I am making. I literally cringe! Watch it for the entertainment value, or if you're a beginner like me, maybe you'll get something useful from it. Enjoy?
1/6/2012 10:12:25 pm
I alternate the lessons. It's mostly because each horse needs something totally different. And by alternating, I "get" two weeks to work on the skill that JL has introduced.
6/5/2012 11:02:41 am
Hi,I have been reading this blog for some time now but never bothered to comment until today. You made some good points there. The spirit of sharing is really impressive, and I want to share this article to my friends!
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
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2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
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3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: