From Endurance to Dressage
Marathon Monday, Part 2
In between Sydney's rides, I had a very difficult, demoralizing, and frustrating lesson on Speedy G. And it wasn't Speedy's fault. It hasn't happened very many times, maybe once before, but I simply didn't. get. it. at. all.
Speedy and I have reached a certain level of okayness. We've laid a solid foundation, but now it's time to start finessing some things. I told JL that one area I can finally see that needs improvement is getting Speedy off my inside left leg. We need bend without him veering off in all the wrong directions. I am sort of sorry that I brought it up.
Here's what's happening according to JL (and it's not that I doubt her explanation; it's just that I can't make my body do what it needs to do to address the problem): Tracking left, I get a bend, and we make the corner, but as we come out of the corner, Speedy is still bent around my leg with his shoulders and butt still stuck in the bend. Even if I drop the inside rein this still happens.
He is simply crooked. As we come down the long side, his shoulders are falling in. My "solution," obviously the wrong one, is to add inside leg, leg, leg which creates a carousel-horse effect. As I add inside leg, his hind end is pushed out, but his front end just keeps swinging in.
Oy vey ...
So JL had me try the following exercise: Ride a square.
Ay yay yay ... poor Speedy G.
p.s. rider has since done some TPR (total physical response) work since Monday's lesson. In teacher speak, TPR is when you have the student move their body during a lesson. Student finally had an AHA moment. More to come ...
2/23/2013 12:31:48 am
Hmmm. Speedy was stuck in the bend. That sounds like a blockage of energy and a brace (could be physical, mental or both). I would not have prescribed more lateral exercises. I would have gone large around the arena and asked for changes in tempo or stride length. Harley is wiggly and I have taught students before when their horses "pretzeled" and this was the ingredient that was lost in the exercise: forwardness.
2/23/2013 03:53:13 am
Once it was clear that I couldn't straighten him out, we did go BIG. :0) We cantered the long sides while I tried to straighten him as I came out of the corner.
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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
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Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
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