From Endurance to Dressage
A Matrix Moment
I had a great AHA! moment while I was riding Speedy this week. It's something JL says to me all the time, but I just hadn't internalized the meaning of the words: we don't care where his head is.
Even though JL says it frequently, I just couldn't believe it. If I don't care where his head is, what the heck do I care about? The answer finally dawned on me while I was doing our keep his head up exercise.
Tracking right isn't a problem; Speedy's really bendy that direction. As I asked him to change directions, I met the same resistance we had dealt with at the lesson - stiffness. As JL had suggested, I tipped his nose in a bit and pushed, pushed, pushed with my inside leg. I got it, and felt it, at the same time. All of a sudden I could feel the bend through his ribcage. It was a true bend from poll to tail. It was then that I realized bend doesn't have anything to do with where his head is.
I rode this new bend for a circle or two and then halted with a lot of good boy pats and praise.
I wrote the other day about my rapidly developing sense of feel. I feel like Neo in The Matrix when he's asked if he wants more: Hell, yes. Hell yeah.
10/19/2012 09:51:51 pm
Cool post! I love The Matrix, too.
10/20/2012 12:00:08 am
Val - I may not have said it before because I just didn't understand what she meant. I've just recently begun to feel the difference between heavy and light. For so long Speedy has been able to duck behind the bit which I thought was being soft and light. When he was "light," he was very "archy" in his head and neck which LOOKED right, but obviously wasn't.
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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
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Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
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