As I prepared for my dressage lesson today, I told my instructor, ” Tell me how you ride your horse and I will follow along to the best of my ability.”
He began by telling me the basics and instead of saying, “I know” – I listened and I said “okay”. I listened for news ways to train my students, different terminology that I may not be using that would be a new tool in my pocket. Rather than telling my instructor about my methods or thoughts, I asked questions to clarify his instructions.
Two aspects of the lesson that resonated with me were ‘first warm up your horse and you’ 🙂 and ‘the most important part about riding is feeling the horse’. I smiled, I have said similar things so many times but I continued to listen to his instructions. He did things similar to us yet, slightly different and I followed what he wanted me to do.
I began by putting the horse in a frame, haunches in, shoulders in -first to left then to right.
Transition work in frame from trot to walk, 20 meter circle at trot keeping horse in frame entire time.
Whatever you do to right – you do to left. Now after all that…. Drop your stirrups.
The lesson moved on through cantering and transitions again.
He likes small suttle movements to move the horse thru transitions. Keeping Sammy, the 16+ hand TB in frame throughout the transitions was challenging but I enjoyed the challenge.
When my instructor said “He likes to throw his head down when he begins his canter but don’t be afraid, I trusted him (and the horse). Sammy did throw his head, but all went well and as I slowed my breathing and trusted my mount, I could feel him also relaxing and trusting me.
To hear another instructor mention the importance of warming up the horse definitely reiterated what we have recently discussed here.
Thanks for letting me share my thoughts and let’s continue to build our equine relations slowly and steadily.