I hope everyone had a good New Year weekend. I managed to get two lessons in this past weekend! We squeezed rides in between rain, which was really lucky for me because I drive almost 2 hours one way to get my lessons.
Saturday’s lesson was really productive. I rode Digger, which was nice after not riding in almost 3 weeks because he’s a really chill ride compared to Hail Mary. She was really spooky that day, so I’m secretly glad someone else had to deal with her reactiveness. Of course the flipside for that is that Digger likes to pull your arms off and get really heavy in the frame. So we worked on that for a bit until he was lighter and then practiced Introductory test B.
It went pretty well. I was the first one in the dressage ring that day so it was really easy to see how I was tracking. I have to admit, my geometry was pretty awesome and I was able to follow those lines for all the subsequent retests. Go me. We had a wobbly line during the free walk and my downward transitions were not clean. I also had an issue making it to X up the centerline at a working trot because Digger super anticipates the halt, which means I spend the last few strides trying to keep him moving, so my prep for the halt is non-existent.
After going through that test several times P asked if I wanted to try Training level test 1 just to change things up. I was game, even though it required the elusive canter seat I’ve been searching for. I expected it to be a total mess but also wanted to see what training level required because P really believes that you school a level above what you show and there isn’t a Flail level test, so I really needed to start upping my game.
P called out the test as I went along and I was so focused on just getting my transition, keeping a good rhythm, keeping Digger light in my hands (hahahahaa…), making sure he was round and pushing deep into the corners that I didn’t notice that I was actually sitting my butt down in the saddle when we were developing the working canter. I actually sat the canter for the whole test. TWICE. Like…holy cow.
Maybe the key to my dressage success will be not knowing where the letters are (I know A and X!) and always needing a test caller. Granted my reins got a little too long and Digger wasn’t always as round as he should be, nor did he free walk in a straight line (probably because I didn’t establish enough contact to funnel him through) but I’d say I didn’t do all that bad for my first time running that test.
I wonder if it’s typical for equestrians to over think certain aspects of riding as much as I seem to do. Does anyone else find that the less they think about certain things the easier they come?