I got on Cupid about 10 minutes before our ride time to start warming up, just walking around the arena to get loose and let him see everything. Then Katie told me to just warm up as I normally would while she observes. Is that a trick question?? I trotted some 20 meter circles and did some changes of direction on the diagonal.
During our ride we focused mainly on my outside rein connection (same as in my lessons, imagine that!). Katie said I need to think about directing Cupid through his shoulders, not his nose and neck. We did a lot of counterflexion to help with straightness. Then Katie hopped on Cupid and said she can see why I keep losing his shoulders. After a few minutes Cupid looked transformed.
|Katie, who is this horse and what have you done with Cupid??|
|He looked like this a few minutes ago|
Then Katie told me to increase the contact and just hold it steady, and keep my leg on. Silly as it sounds, it's a foreign concept to me. I've never ridden any of my horses with that much contact. But Cupid responded without much fuss, quickly dropping his nose. I could be way off, but I would estimate it to about 3 lbs pressure in the reins.We drifted in and out of it a few times, but again, progress.
|Ok, looking better (I just need to sit up. And bring my lower leg forward)|
Overall I really enjoyed riding with Katie, and felt like Cupid and I took a small step forward in our dressage journey. Though then I was a little confused, is this how I should ride Cupid from now on?? And should have been riding him all along?? I had a brief chat with my trainer after, she said don't worry we won't get there in one lesson and has a plan on how to slowly incorporate everything. Now if I could just get my darned body under control!