Phew! Ike and I sweated our way through our weekly lesson today. Who would have thought that we’d be riding in 83 degree weather at the end of October. Poor Ike is sporting a heavier winter coat so he was a hot mess when we were done. Cooler days are only a few days away and I will again be able to wear my winter riding boots (grin) that don’t need to be cleaned every day (bigger grin).
Ms. C made the astute observation that I need to achieve a better outside rein connection to help Ike learn to be straight. He is so long and gangly that he tends to “leak” if I don’t maintain a steady connection with that outside shoulder. We get a crooked look which is good for a scarecrow, but not so much for a dressage horse. My connection with my inside rein is also suspect. I’m told I throw away the inside rein or take too much contact and pull backwards. Sheesh. I’m a hot mess in more ways than one.
I can achieve a better connection when I’m in sit trot – go figure. In my rising trot, my connection is more on again, off again. So I can help Ike more from sit trot, but since he is young, his back isn’t quite sit trot ready. Do you know what I mean? So there is the problem. Well, let’s be honest, it is really my problem. Sigh. How do I help big man learn when I can’t be the perfect rider with every stride? I suppose that I could knuckle down on his withers or hook a couple of fingers through my SOS strap, but while that would help Ike with a steadier connection, it really doesn’t help me learn to have better hands. I could try the technique I learned at the last clinic (bridging the reins), but my hands still tend to bob around a bit too much. If you have any tips for help through this struggle, please share! I know I can’t be the only one with this problem.
The rest of the lesson went well. Ike continues to improve his stretch down trot and his canter rhythm. Rode Test 3 with Ms. C as the judge. She is a tough one, but spot on with her comments. The take away message is always Ike can only get better and learn to move correctly if you show him how. So we muster our strength and live to ride another day.