Yesterday was our weekly lesson. I can honestly say that my trainer is one of my best friends and has probably forgotten more about horses that I will ever hope to learn. She keeps us on task and knows just how to bring out the best in both of us. Too bad I cannot shrink her enough to hide in a pocket as I ride my tests. It is evident by the photos that we need the constant reminders by the fabulous Ms. C to find our happy place.
We continue to work on our rhythm and relaxation; Ike was much less of a freight train during the lesson. Ike and I are also searching for straightness between the reins and my legs and for the still elusive connection and recycle of the energy. There are fleeting moments where we achieve that goal, but then the moment is gone and one body part or another has moved into another time zone. Ms. C says it is all part of the process as Ike learns to find his balance, and I learn how to help him find it and maintain it.
We work a lot at the walk and trot. If we can’t maintain our straightness and throughness going slower, we have absolutely no chance at the canter. I have to think like a metronome while trotting, one, two, one, two, one, two. I think I’ve got it, and then, oops, I don’t prepare Ike well enough to feed off onto a circle. We then look tense and choppy. Sigh, rider error! Thank you for playing, please try again. [What, did you think I’d post one of those photos??]
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have “do overs” during a dressage test? Think about it, at golf tournaments, golfers can purchase mulligan tickets so when your ball ends up in the creek for the second time, you can whip out that ticket and try again to hit terra firma with no penalty strokes. You won’t see mulligans at the Masters this weekend (I bet Rory wished he had that ticket when he ended up in the drink), but every fun golf tournament I’ve ever attended offered this fabulous option. I think USEF and USDF should consider allowing riders to purchase similar tickets, then when you blow a movement, you can stop and cry “DO OVER!” and retry. Show managers, think of the money to be earned! Sign me up!
Since I doubt mulligans will be an option by the end of the month, we will continue to practice. Twenty three days to go.