Monday, May 1, 2017

Adventures in Dressage

I never really pursued dressage before I had Cupid, but I am enjoying it more and more and am very excited to see where it will take us.  I'm not giving up jumping, Cupid seems to enjoy it and on a good day I do too.  But dressage will help us with our jumping, as well as provide it's own set of challenges and rewards. 

As our first dressage show approaches, I had the perfect opportunity to learn from watching the riders at Rolex, and then my own trainer riding in a clinic with a classical master.  Although most of the tests were quite lovely, I was a little surprised by some of the mistakes I saw at Rolex.  Horses spooking, bucking at lead changes, or balking at the rein back.  I don't know if that makes me feel better or worst!  If the experts still have that happen, what chance do I have??  I am terrified that Cupid is going to plow through the halt, or take off at the canter and run straight out of the arena!

Saturday - I had a lesson after we got back from the clinic, right around noon.  This is not our normal routine, and during Cupid's lunch hour.  Cupid was a little spooky; nothing major but a few little sideways steps.  I thought it might be from a big folded up tarp outside the arena, so I stepped out of the arena a minute to let him take a look at it.  First I just made him walk past it a few feet away.  Then I turned him to it, and as he walked up I could feel his heart beating.  He put his nose on it and seemed okay.  The hay truck came through while we were riding, and I thought Cupid would be grumpy that he had to work but he was good.  I had the german martingale on, which really helps me maintain a steadier contact and Cupid felt really good.

We went through our training level test a few times.  Even though the elements are the same things we have been working on, and did in our warm up, it is more nerve wracking to ride it as a test!  My position got quite a bit worst, as I was leaning forward and riding very defensively.  This is one of my biggest goals for this year to get over this, but clearly I am not there yet.

Well deserved meal after our lesson
Sunday - Another midday lesson.  It was quite warm, Cupid was already a little sweaty when I brought him in from the pasture.  So I was expecting him to be grumpy that he had to work through lunch, in the heat, but he was fabulous!  I had the german martingale on him again, toward the end we tightened it a hole for a little trot work including circles, shoulder fore, and leg yielding.  Cupid did not seem to mind the martingale, he felt very soft and round and wonderful!  I was a lot more relaxed as well.

After our ride I hosed him off.  It hasn't been this warm in quite a while!
Post bath

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