Dressage with William

Today I got to take an unexpected dressage lesson today. Eric was supposed to have the lesson but he tweaked his knee skiing and didn’t want to aggravate it further. So YAY, lesson for me!

It has been at least seven years since the last time I’ve had a dressage lesson so I was a bit nervous. Our trainer had me starting basically from the beginning which I didn’t mind at all because I don’t feel like I remember much about dressage. Plus, I really want to learn more so that I can do better with Dandy. Anyway, although my muscles don’t remember, my mind and body did remember where my legs were supposed to be. I did a lot of walking and working with my driving leg; I couldn’t do much trotting because I just don’t have the muscle to do it right now but that will come. We also worked on leg yields and holy cow does William not want to move off my left leg. Too bad I didn’t have my spurs. However, I was starting to get it when asking William to move off my right leg. I think in the future when I have him collected and a shorter rein I’ll have an easier time of it.

After warming up we moved out into the field because the arena was very slippery. There I got to work on collection and keeping collection when doing walk to trot and trot to walk transitions. Apparently you are supposed to give the reins, not drop them but it should be in the elastic give of your hands/elbows, when asking for a trot and holding the contact when you ask to transition downwards (similar to a half-halt). I see many of you thinking, duh, Lauren! but I don’t care. I’m specifically talking about being in a classical dressage seat and working with collection, something I have done very little of formally. And while I have tried to work on keeping collection and carriage through a transition, this is the first time I’ve ever had much success.

Eric took a few photos of me riding and I’m really glad he did. I can see that while my leg position is pretty good, I need to get my toes pointed in, shoulders back and my hands closer together. Oh, also soften my elbows. It’s always the elbows with me.

Overall the lesson was a big success. I got lots of tips and things to work on which should make our next time even better!

Uh oh, did I catch the dressage bug???

A gratuitous picture of the ponies - Strudel and Schnapps