From Endurance to Dressage
Why am I keeping my hands so high, and when do I get to lower them? These are the questions JL helped me answer at Monday's lesson.
I guess I should call this post, FEELINGS. That seems to be my word of the day, week, month. It's all about feel.
Before I started the lesson, I explained that to the right, I think we've got it (by George). I could FEEL Speedy pulling me along as though he had a hold of my hand. When I asked for a halt, it was sharp and his head stayed down without popping up. Yep, came JL's response. That's right.
To the left was a different story. I couldn't get that feeling of being taken by the hand. Speedy really wants to drop behind the vertical, or hide, as JL describes it. To "fix" our left circle dilemma, JL had me work on BENDING Speedy through the rib cage. OHHHH ... That's where the problem has been: he hasn't been yielding to my leg pressure. I goosed him pretty firmly with my spurs until he started yes ma'aming my leg. Then JL had me tip his nose in and yield, yield, yield. When he still wasn't bending through all the way, we picked up the canter and ROCKED the rein.
And that's when we got IT. He finally took me by the hand and carried me along.
We worked on a few other ideas that created several AHA moments. When he wants to be forward, I am going to let him carry me by sitting tall and leaning back. This will balance the teeter-totter (my own visual). Pretty soon he's going to realize how much work that is. When he does, I am going to ask for him to slow down and trot UP. And that's where I will be able to lengthen and shorten his stride.
We had a really great lesson. I am finally, FINALLY developing a feel. JL didn't have to coach me at every stride. I can now FEEL when he isn't active behind, and I can FEEL the difference between being heavy in my hand and taking my hand. Two very different FEELINGS.
Maybe I should have called this post, Feelings, as in "Feelings, nothing more than feelings." - Morris Albert
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
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: