From the title of this post, you may be forgiven for thinking I’ve been away from riding… but despite the weather, snow and ice, I still managed to get to the yard this morning.
My RI asked who I wanted to ride, I had no preference so Ethan it was.
Off we went, I tacked up whilst my RI did some jobs. I was pretty impressed i managed to do it all by myself, correcting things as I felt they were not quite right.
We headed into the school where I expertly balanced enough in my saddle to do one of my stirrups. Trust me, doing one is a big achievement as I have a twist in them.
Off we went, doing a walk of some degree. Mr Ethan kept stopping, as he sometimes does for a poo stop. But no poo so eventually my RI said to give him a tap and he started realising we meant business and got on with his work beautifully. No crop was needed at all after that point.
Today’s lesson would focus not only on serpentines, but a whole dressage test. My RI ran through it and as soon as she mentioned canter, I was like what? It wasn’t just cantering down the long sides, that I probably would try but cantering in a circle. I’m not quite ready for that. But to my relief, [insert big sigh], she said I could trot it all. Phew!
This test is a pretty tough going one. Not just because on paper it is a lot of trotting and cantering, various transitions but for me, lots of turning.
Considering, when I first went into the school, the walls were the thing that helped me orientate. Now we’re introducing circles, serpentines, long reins, and I have no wall to follow, it is a whole new world. This, by the way, is not my complaining, I am loving the challenge but practically, I have a few more things to consider with not seeing where I’m going.
Listening to my rI and estimating turns are the key for me. I think, this may be one reason I like Ethan so much in the school. I can rely on his strides so much so it feels easier to track where I am. Unless, he drifts. But then, my RI is amazing at directing.
So, down the centre line, track right at C, long serpentine at A, go large back to A, then a 20M metre circle at A. Followed by long rein in walk K to M. Back into trot between M and C. Serpentine at C, back round and a 20M circle at C, long rein in trot H to F, and end down the Centre line with a solute. Even writing this I feel tired.
My serpentines were apparently good. My circles, good. My long rein in walk needed more energy to stop Mr Ethan drifting. I was pretty proud the first time. My RI, said I need to tell Ethan more before I want him to turn so he knows exactly what we’re doing. More outside leg and turning of the shoulders from the waist to give him clear signals. I was turning the shoulders but not from the waist so he never got my message.
We did it a second time… I was tiring and the serpentines were still good, circles got a little smaller but we managed to complete. I know next time, because it’s in my head, I can concentrate more on what I am doing as opposed to where I am going which I know will help my riding and Ethan.
Praise for my special pony friend and huge pats. a great feedback from my RI with great things to keep trying. If someone had told me this time last year I’d have ridden a few dressage tests, i would have laughed. But to ride them, not too shabbily and even consider canter work within those tests in the next few months, I would not have even believed them. but I am. I know I can do it to. Having access to incredible horses and an amazing instructor just keeps helping me to grow.
Granted, this is how I always end my blogs but truly, excitement reigns in my equestrian experiences for the future.