The original length was 21 minutes and that included powering on the camera to powering it off. I only cut out the repeated 20-meter circles and changes of direction. I realize this only cut out some of the boring parts, but I wanted you to know that I didn't splice together the "best" moments. This was our ride, honestly presented. Grab a bowl of popcorn and a beer.
- I don't look like a complete sack of potatoes any more. If you're new here, I competed in endurance races (hundred milers included) for the better part of two decades. I never had a formal lesson until 2010. Dressage is a complete change from endurance racing!
- The exercises feel great as I am doing them, but they don't come across nearly as rhythmical in the video, especially the juggling. I also see that I juggle much more with my right hand than with my left.
- I like riding the up, up, down exercise because I can feel my loss of balance; I don't need the video to see it. I will say that I am getting better at it in just the short few weeks that I've been practicing.
- The land your seat bone somewhere else is hard to see, but it feels great while you're doing it. That exercise is my favorite one as it releases all kinds of lower back tension/stiffness while I am riding.
- I was surprised to see so much head wagging, Sydney's, not mine. While I am riding, my contact is deliberately light so that I don't use my hands to balance during the exercises, especially as we warm up. I can see that I need more up and down in the juggling and less pull (dang it!) so that I don't wag his head.
- I had never done the balance ball exercise before; this was my first attempt, and I did it right! When I saw other riders do it, their hands got closer and closer to their chests as their "ball" deflated (even the grand prix riders). Even while Susanne was saying, you're losing air, they just couldn't feel or see that their hands was getting closer and closer to their chests. The purpose of the exercise is to keep the sensation of forward in the canter. I still need to try it to the right.
- I loved the right lead canter depart. I know you probably don't believe me when I say that you just saw Dr. Jekyll and not Mr. Hyde, but it's true. This was NOT the horse I rode a few weeks ago at the clinic. The good thing is that Hyde was who I used to ride every afternoon at home. Dr. Jekyll now seems to be my regular mount while at home. That canter depart was not possible just two short weeks ago. We have definitely had a breakthrough.
- I loved the left lead canter depart even more, the second one that is. JL has me thinking of asking for the departure in a way that no one should even see that I am asking, unlike in the first departure. I have a tendency to ask for the canter like I would if I were yee-hawing it across the plains being chased by bandits. That second left lead canter (in the video) was really nice!
We have a long road in front of us, and I know that, but I am feeling a lot better about things today. Even I can see that we're making progress. Yeah, it's slow, and we all know that I'd like it to be a lot faster, but at least we're not just spinning our wheels, mired in the mud. It may be that Sydney will never be a show horse. That's okay. I like riding him at home, and he's helping me learn to be a better rider.
And despite what I usually write, he looks like a nice horse to ride, doesn't he?!