Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Pointy Equals Round

I had the most fantastic lesson last night! While I do love jumping, I always feel like I get so much more out of dressage lessons.

Warmed up with a quick hack in the sun. First day of T shirt weather for me, and hopefully the end of our rainiest winter/spring ever! 

Before I got on, EC instructed me to switch out the 'princess' roller ball spurs I normally use for my dressage lessons:

Apparently, I am too 'nice' if  these are my 'serious' spurs....at least with Bridget.

And borrow these bad boys:

Cowgirl style.
We started in walk. Even in warm up, our walk should be a light contact - I am guilty of letting her wander along on a loose rein with her neck flat and her nose poking out. Instead, I should always feel like she is lightly in my hand, taking me forward. Nose closer to vertical  We then "packaged it up" and found a nice working trot, then on trot/halt/trot transitions, followed by some baby collected trot, thinking having her trot on the spot with the same energy. I'm loving the amount of power I'm starting to feel building!

We moved on to some lateral work, leg yields in trot. They were a bit wiggly and wobbly until I remembered to insist on keeping that outside shoulder under wraps and her neck straight. We even changed the bend and got a few steps of lovely half pass! So fun. Like earlier, I'm starting to feel her hind end really sitting and working...so my ability to move the shoulders is much improved, and more than slightly addictive feeling! :)

Next, a tiny time out to do travers/renvers on the circle. This is my most hated exercise, because I am silly dumb about where all our parts need to be without a wall to help. The stars aligned, however, and we didn't dwell there too long, instead moving on to some walk pirouettes. I actually like riding these, because quarter/square turns were my go to for so long with the whole drifting shoulder thing that it's almost like we had a bit of a head start.

Finally, canter. So much canter. And, this was where I really started smiling. Bridget is starting to get some 'jump' in her canter, particularly to the right. It's starting to feel pretty fancy and maneuverable, and dare I say dressage like? Especially for the pony who wouldn't canter at all a couple of years ago!

Pretty much us after our lesson . Photo from here :)

Finally, the verdict on the spurs:

I was super paranoid about my leg while using these. Which is obviously a good thing for my nagging self. Combine that clarity with the added annoyance when I do tap her with them and we had a more responsive and honest pony than we generally do. I'm going to continue to keep these in my arsenal for the days when Midge 'doesn't wanna'.

I'm also pledging to be much more mindful with my leg. This was a great lesson for reminding me of the sort of response I should be getting with a minimal ask. Since Midge is a smart pony, I already switch between no spurs/different spurs frequently so as to not have her tuned out to any. I'm going try to work less regardless of what I'm wearing (or not), and enforce more. Especially now that I know she's capable of more!


12 comments:

  1. Such a good lesson. As she improves in dressage she should improve in her jumping.

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    1. I'd like to hope so, but this IS Bridget we're talking about ;)

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  2. Yay for good lessons!!! I love the Charlotte picture, I know that's how I feel after a good lesson ;)

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    1. Right? I need to practice the wave ;)

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  3. Dressage lessons are the best lessons!

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    1. I get so much out of them!

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  4. Woah those are serious haha. I feel you on dressage...my hunter princess is starting to drift to dressage ish diva

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    1. It's shameful, my little eventer heart feels like we're cheating :)

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  5. What an awesome ride! Yesterday I tried to school in my baby nubby spurs and Dino was just NOT having it... I ended up nagging a ton. I better remember the big, bad, long spurs today!

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    1. Bad pony spurs to the rescue!

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  6. I hope you did the wave too!

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    1. I felt like it, but that looks like a pretty pro wave. Like she's practiced the mirror, for sure. I'm not ready! ;)

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