Sunday, November 16, 2014

Silke White Dressage Clinic

Went to my first ever "clinic" yesterday. Which was pretty much a private lesson with some spectators where I got my ass thoroughly whupped into shape. Just when you think you actually look good and are doing the right things, along comes a professional dressage trainer/rider to make you think again. Silke is an awesome trainer. Asks nicely once then starts yelling. Makes me sweat and wonder if I'll be able to walk in the morning. If I'm paying for a lesson or clinic DO NOT go easy on me. She didn't!

Teaching me how to teach Twister to relax at the poll

The biggest challenge was getting Twister to relax his poll and be light. I swear there were times I thought I'd end up on his neck. But it didn't take long for me to figure out that a deeper seat and steady hands help. I am very sore today, as is my trusty mount. We decided to practice this morning and I could tell he was very tired. Well so am I. Our walk become round and light, which I have almost never achieved. I learned a few helpful tips for bendy-ness, like having my hips and shoulders follow the horse, like riding a bike. And to remember to keep my elbows close to my body and be quieter in my hands. And most of all, I am not supposed to be dragged around by my horse! Which I knew. But you get so used to something you start to think it's normal! By the end of our lesson, our trot became light and round and we even got some  uphill canter!!! My biggest goal is that uphill canter. Can't jump the big fences long, low and strung out. And of course I want us to improve our dressage score because that score has the biggest effect on your placement at a horse trial. I can jump double clean and have a clean cross country and still be dead last if we suck at dressage.

I had to ditch the jacket, I was huffing and puffing so hard I could
have blown the 3 little pigs' house down!

So proud of us for finally getting somewhere! Absolutely going
to make taking a lesson now and then a habit!

I don't do a lot of dressage-specific work in the summer. But Twister knows as soon as the ground gets soggy and the winter blankets come out that the dressage tack won't be far behind. Luckily I have a horse that basically is happy almost any time he is under tack, although if he had it his way he'd be ponying bratty racehorses or jumping the big jumps.

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