Saturday, February 16, 2013

Fe-brrrruary dressage lesson

Since I can't get up to LAZ at all in February I decided to substitute another dressage lesson instead.  Dear God what has happened to me?  During the last lesson I was still dealing with "bad to the tail bone" Annie who learned through a serious of cumulative events she could get away with being nappy and bucky. I managed to get that mostly ironed out after a dressage lesson, more blanketing, and a boot camp style jumping lesson with LAZ so I was looking forward to showing that we actually sort of kinda knew what we were doing.

Friday night's ride wasn't very productive, the temps had dropped and I've finally accepted that Annie really isn't a cold weather pony so I spent most of Friday's ride cantering.  While snorting like a race horse.  A 14.2 hand hairy race horse. 

I probably got on a bit too early for my lesson Saturday but I wanted to make sure Annie was well warmed up and out of the "NO TOUCHES OR I BUCKS" phase.  I let her trot around on little contact then we did some canter with me out of the saddle (fun in a dressage saddle) and some bucking to show off our athleticism to the people in the viewing gallery.  When our lesson started Annie was ready to accept some contact and some leg so I think it paid off.

I told Nancy that I wanted to work on sideways, Annie goes to the left pretty well but not to the right.  Nancy believes that I hold too much with my left leg when going right so I don't give her anywhere to go.  I had better responses when I worked really hard on holding my left leg off of her side and not clamping down.

 We weren't QUITE this good.

Annie was much better in her contact but she showed her distaste by flipping her nose out and yanking the reins.  Nancy says that Annie does this because she doesn't like the work we are doing and she is going to either slow down and get behind to make it easier, or pull the reins out of my hands and run to avoid it.  So I worked on staying upright and keeping my elbows by my sides so I was more stable.

We did LOTS of cantering.  The transitions into and out of were not pretty but I got some great tips on getting a better trot after the canter, by pushing forward and asking her to adjust to my rhythm, and staying in motion with her but not ahead of her I was able to get some good responses.  In the canter we have upped the ante by half halting and asking her to not only flex a bit but to stay soft, round, and even.  Hard work for me because I didn't add enough leg so every time I touched the bit she broke gait.  Not as pretty to the right by far but I was able to sit on her back more and work a bit on adjusting the canter and not just hanging off the side!  Nancy asked me to get the right lead off the inside leg because the outside leg just pushes her onto her right shoulder more and makes her fall in.  This seemed to work pretty well.

We also DID NOT look like this horse.

Nancy was really complimentary of the work Annie was doing and the huge change in her way of going from the last lesson so I was really pleased. 

I edited together a video of our lesson, you can view it here!

1 comment:

  1. Wow - was it cold yesterday - we are rock stars for taking a dressage lesson! CAF was supposed to have a Feb. show yesterday - do you know if she had it?

    Looks and sounds like a super lesson for you and Annie yesterday!


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