So of course I was bummed that our show tomorrow was cancelled, but the money that was going to be spent on the show was used for an extra lesson with Ms. C and a clinic with Rebecca Langwost-Barlow. It turns out that sometimes the unexpected can turn out to be just what you need to feel good about you and your horse and the progress you have made over the winter. To hear from both these ladies that Ike and I are working well together and that they can see the progress that we’ve made, gave me a warm fuzzy feeling that perhaps I am starting to “get” what dressage is all about. There is a glimmer of hope that we will succeed this season AND even more exciting, make it out of Training Level.
A big part of progressing is, of course, the half halt that I talk about incessantly, but the other necessary skill is (ugh) the sitting trot. That was my nemesis today at the clinic. OMG! I do believe that it is going to be harder to master than the half halt. I either lean too far back, or shoot my lower leg out like a water skier, or pinch with my knees, and most frequently, tense my shoulders. Meanwhile, I’m also huffing and puffing and trying to move my seat with Ike’s trot rhythm. It gets even more challenging when I try to down transition from canter to trot. Ike’s trot as we come out of the canter is very forward. Whoa, that is a lot of motion to absorb and keep my tush in the saddle in a somewhat relaxed fashion. By the end of the clinic I was doing it, but so very glad that there is no video evidence of my less than masterful skills.
I find it interesting that there are so many things you can learn to do proficiently from reading a book: baking, cooking, gardening, and bike maintenance are all things I’ve learned from reading books. In my humble opinion, riding is not one of those skills that can be learned from reading a book or magazine. Sure you can read the concepts over and over, but to truly be proficient, one must ride. Not just once, but over and over and over again. But wait, if you truly want to master a riding skill, you must ride many different horses since each one is unique. No wonder so many of us struggle to progress. Who has limitless time and a barn full of horses to ride? Not this girl. So it means that much more to earn the complements from those skilled trainers…almost better than a blue ribbon. 🙂
p.s. We have ride times for next Sunday, so the countdown restarts…8 days.