Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pretty decent ride!

I had a pretty decent ride today, especially considering the weather was weird and some jerk on a motorbike kept flying up and down the road.

It's a good thing Amber usually keeps her head about such things.

She was a little rushy in canter, but she was adjustable, I just had to make sure I kept her steady. She got the wrong lead tracking left AGAIN! What's up with this? This used to be the preferred direction, and it really makes me worry that something is up with the other hock...but I check for heat/swelling and pain after every ride and they're cool, tight and she doesn't react as though there's pain.

She did get one good walk-canter transition, going left. Weird, isn't it? She's pretty consistent both ways...there isn't either one that I go "Oh that's her bad direction!", because she doesn't have a bad direction, just a direction I usually have to be more on my toes about keeping her together. It's not like it's hard to get her to take the lead. It's more like "Oh, oopsie, wrong one!" and then off we go.

Still working on getting her soft through her neck and back. About the same place we were last time, and I think we will be here for a few weeks before I really start getting consistency.

She is getting some muscle up in her shoulders and hindquarters!

I'm still not sure what we're doing 100% yet. I know next year we're going to putt around at the local hunter/jumper shows doing flat classes, unless by some miracle we progress drastically in jumping. She has some cute suspension going on when she gets collected, so I'm still thinking about dressage. It's always going to be a part of me, and it's always going to be at the core of my riding, competing or not. I don't exactly have any rides to dressage shows though, and I doubt I'm going to be buying a trailer any time soon though...again, not that I don't want to do hunters, because I do. There's just something different about dressage to me.

She's just so responsive to my seat and leg. And it's just something about her when she gets focused, that I just KNOW if I really got serious about it, I could get her probably even farther than Jack. She's a thousand times farther than Jack with her collection and leg yields as it stands already. Of course, Jack was a weird horse. Jack could walk pirouette and shoulder-in, but it was like pushing a brick wall if you asked for a leg yield. I am so tempted to try teaching her, but I'm scared of frustrating her with too much too soon - she's still young and so sensitive.

But for now, we'll hang out with the hunters. :) We do love them too. And dressage isn't necessarily about competing. I could get my fix just doing tests at home. I just think I'd get to the point where I'd realize how much work I'd put in, and how much I'd taught her, and feel like the majority of work perfecting it, not just using it as a training aid, would be wasted.


  1. Dressage is DEFINITELY worth spending time on. Holyyy coww. My mare has progressed leaps and bounds over the last few months since we started dressage, and really, once we actually get to where we want to be with dressage, our jumping will fall into place. :) It's going to be wonderful. So I encourage you to definitely spend time working on dressage, especially with the chestnut mares. ;) Lol

  2. Nice work. Glad to hear Amber is doing so well.

    For that left lead, make sure she is straight before you ask for it. Her shoulder needs to be on the track and she should not be bent too much to the inside. As well, her hind end needs to be on the track.

    Think of riding her "straight along a circle" to the left and canter. Try to feel, as well that your seat is not falling to the outside and is truly dictating the left lead. When you do it from the walk, you are probably concentrating on all of that pretty intensely. For now, you need to concentrate like that for every depart, even from the trot.