Friday, March 21, 2014

First Level Pracitce

The past two days, Bobby and I have been in the outdoor fastidiously working on the first level tests inside our ghetto dressage court constructed on jump poles and traffic cones. Our outdoor isn't quite as long as a standard dressage ring, but it works well enough especially since I'll only be riding in a large arena once this year.

snacking while i was hard at work lugging poles around.

Yesterday's ride started off not so great. He was a slug on the longe line so I ended that early. When I got on, he was distracted by absolutely everything and not willing to to soften in the slightest. "It's so windy out here! There are horses over there! And over there! I think I just heard someone shut their car door! I hate cars! I hate wind! Holy shit, another horse!"

I finally ended up goosing him with my spurs which he chose to react to by throwing up his head. Unfortunately for him, I'd bridged my reins and planted them at his withers so he just hit himself in the mouth. Then he got smart and dropped his head, and I dropped the pressure. And suddenly....I had a light, focused horse that was completely willing to do whatever I asked.

Hmm. Is Bobby Magee really growing up? Last year, and the years before that, he would have had a complete melt down that I had dared go against what he wanted to do and the ride would have been over then. Yesterday he just accepted the correction and got to work.

this crow has been overseeing our work the past two days. when we pass it
on the rail, it flies into the closest tree and screams at us until we pass, then comes back.

Today, I didn't bother with the longe line since he's so intent on ignoring me. Instead, I warmed up with a long stretchy walk, a long trot on a loose rein over the poles that made up our arena, and a forward canter in half seat. After which he was a total gem to ride. Like, he literally could do no wrong.

Well, okay, he is Bobby so he could do some wrong, but he wasn't even hanging on my left rein! Win!

We ran through First 1 and 2 yesterday and 2 and 3 today. I think out of the three tests, I find 2 the hardest to ride. I don't know why, it just doesn't seem to flow as well for me. 1 is basically just a warm up, and 3 is actually kind of fun...for a dressage test. 3 also practically has to be ridden in sitting trot, or at least it does if changing you posting diagonal every five seconds doesn't appeal to you. Between the leg yields and the random little figure eight at X, my butt is better off just planted in the saddle.

Things we need to work on:

  • The first trot lengthening. If I put my leg on, he canters. If I go conservatively to prevent the canter, he doesn't lengthen at all. It's only the first one. By the time we reach the last one, he's one flicky toed mother fucker.
  • Leg yielding tracking left. Definitely harder for him than to the right.
  • Leg yielding off the rail. I just don't work on this much, so it's time to add it to the list.
  • Oh, hey, guess what. If you ask your horse to pick up the canter lead to the direction his body is bent, he'll pick up that lead. So if you're trying to get the other lead, bend his body the other direction. Come on, brain. You've got to keep up.
Overall though? Totally rocking it. His canter specifically is really starting to rock and roll. 



5 comments:

  1. Woohoo Bobby-Saurus! I actually think it's way easier to do all things in sitting trot. I hardly ever post.

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  2. Heh heh a flicky toed mother fucker. I love that phrase a little too much.

    I can see it now, "alright teenager who's only listening to my every other word anyhow, TURN THAT HORSE INTO A FLICKY TOED MOTHER FUCKER"

    haha I can't stop giggling oh god this won't end well at all.

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  3. I think that might be the best description of a trot lengthening I've ever heard. I personally think that would be a great comment from a judge. Dressage can get so damn serious, why not lighten it up a little?

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  4. Agrew with others - love the lengthening desc! :D
    Yay Bobby & Carly kickin dressage butt & taking names in the outdoor!

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  5. Yes that would be the best comment from a judge ever! I did have one write that my horse sure got his panties in a wad, best judge ever!
    One of my favorite leg yielding exercises is to zigzag on and off the rail, it helped me with the dreaded leg yield from the rail issues

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