A weekend of dressage - Part 1
As things slowly return to a new normal, we are starting to have more things to look forward to at the weekends. This is a mixed blessing, I love going out and about but as a very busy person the enforced down time has been nice, especially as the world here didn't stop entirely but enough to give us a break.
Two weeks ago was all about dressage with dressage club on Saturday and a training day hosted by the club on Sunday. I was really looking forward to getting out and getting our dressage diva on. Even better, I didn't have to get out of bed too early either morning.
We had two lessons with two new coaches on Saturday and both were enlightening. The first lesson was very similar to the last few I have had, but I am pleased to report that I am getting better at the contact with the outside rein! Yes! The lesson went super well, Henry was much more relaxed and willing. I was being much more consistent too which obviously helped. That outside rein makes such a big difference.
The coach had us do lots of transitions with in the paces, brining him right back without changing the rhythm. We were quite good at it though I had to really work to keep him round. It helped his transitions between paces immensely too.
Our second lesson was a much more cerebral lesson with a very well respected coach and judge in the state. This lady is someone I had a lesson with half a lifetime ago when I first started leasing my own horse. She was so kind and encouraging and her words have stuck with me ever since. She has since judged several of my tests and have always wanted to be coached by her again.
I gave her a brief run down and she immediately asked me if I had a sense of humour. I do so she said right, cross your reins over and go and ride a serpentine. It hurt my head so bad trying to work out how, but it highlighted two things: the importance of how influential the riders body is over the horse, and how important the outside rein is. We did not nail this exercise, but it certainly gave me plenty to think about.
The theme of this lesson quickly developed into using our bodies to influence the horse, and how tiny changes make a big difference. It was a very timely reminder for me to remember to check in with what I am doing will all of me, not just my hands. I can get fixated on just my hands and forget the rest of me is just as important, if not more so.
It was another very beneficial day out and I am still loving this little club.