Sunday, June 22, 2008

Another step up the scale

This week I finally feel like I've unlocked one of the many secrets of Dressage, and developed an even greater bond with my horse. It's such an amazing feeling to have a perfect ride after a long period of frustration and feelings of not being good enough.

We got 65.6% in our first test, our personal best! We led the field by 14%.

The things I've learnt about Blue this week...

Warm up: When warming up, walk her on a loose rein with no contact on her mouth, do the same in trot a couple times around the arena, then gradually take up a contact encouraging her to stretch. I used to get on her and take a contact asking her to stretch right away, but she would tense up and it would be a struggle for half an hour getting her to relax over her back. I've learnt she just needs time to get out the kinks and relax mentally.

Feed: We ran out of Meadow Chaff so we gave her Lucerne Chaff for a week, and what a difference! She has just the right amount of energy, and is more relaxed mentally.

Medium work = softer, more supple horse: We have been practising more Travers and Half Passes. It's starting to help engage her more and she is less likely to 'run' off with me now.

But the best thing wasn't winning my class and getting a great percentage.

It was the feeling of complete and utter connection, perfect balance, and being truly at one with my horse. I can honestly say it is the best feeling in the world.