Friday, April 25, 2014

Dressage confusion and then Double Trails

So.... I'm so confused. I really need to stop thinking so hard when I ride. But it's how I roll. ;) I think that if I understand it, it's easier for me to do it. But I'm not entirely sure that's true.

Regardless... poor Beth. After two days off after FENCE and a good massage session with Kathryn, Fleck and I had a dressage lesson with Beth. I felt like we needed more work on that and since he had just jumped XC and stadium two days prior, there wasn't any need to jump him again so soon. Especially since he jumped like a boss! So we did flat work.

We started with working on getting him really collected. I needed to slow the front feet and get those hind feet dancing! Then from there, I could let him out into a lengthened trot, or even a true medium trot. It was nice!!! We got some really nice uphill steps! However, then it got hard and we started to canter instead of bend around my leg and trot. So then Beth noticed that going across the diagonal, Fleck was very quick to swap from right bend to left bend, but not vice versa. So that got us on a new tangent. 

We worked on getting Fleck into both reins. Beth said that he relies too much on the right rein and hangs on the left and isn't truly in the left rein. Which confused the heck out of me. I thought he wasn't in the right rein and was way too heavy in the left!!! I feel like we're always hanging on each other on the left and there isn't much connection in the right. And yes, I do realize that "hanging on each other" isn't truly a connection. :) I'm not THAT dumb... But I was still confused. Beth pointed out that he is almost always counterbent when he's supposed to be on the left rein and really is never truly in it. He throws his shoulder out and bulges to the right. Okay... I get that. And he does feel nice and soft in the right rein, when he's actually in it. So.. the goal was to get him more active on the left rein and less active on the right. Which was tough! Especially mentally for me. So we had him tracking right and leg yielding on the circle. Once he softened to the outside rein, we could track straight and quit leg yielding. It worked!!! We got some REALLY nice moves!  So nice in fact, that we got a bit too big for our britches and lost it. But baby steps! Yay... so now I have to remember to focus on suppleness on BOTH reins and really make sure he's not faking me out on the left anymore.

Phew... lots of hard work for us both. But Flecky felt GREAT!!!

The next day we took a breather and just went trail riding with Kelli and Peri. It was fun. It was a quick ride because they both had to get somewhere. So after they had to leave, I grabbed Dan and Fleck and Dan and I went back out. :) We did 3.2 miles the second hack and had fun. We did a good bit of trotting and Dan was great. Fleck felt a little sore in his lower back. But he worked very hard the day before, so I figured a good long stretching hack was good for him. And he seemed to be enjoying himself. :)

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