Monday, February 2, 2015

Slow Down, Then Go Slower: This. Is. DRESSAGE.

first lesson
So last year I had a lot of fun with Courage and did all kinds of things and let's be honest, skipped some pretty critical steps that he really needed covered in order to progress as a sporthorse. Our jumping coach S pointed out that Courage needed to be able to lengthen his frame and go forward in that balance in order to improve his jumping.

And that's something you don't learn by doing course work every week.

ooooh look what an exciting walk picture!
And it's not very exciting.

And it's hard.

And guess what we have been doing all winter at the dressage barn?

I haven't been blogging much about riding because instead of the feel-good updates of "YEAH JUMPING SHIT" it's much more like "well, today we did a hundred walk/trot transitions". Actually, that was two weeks ago. This past week, Courage was a little footsore so instead the update should be "today we did 50 transitions from free walk to working walk to free walk each direction".


he's a hottie
So you know. It's good quality work. His education is progressing in leaps and bounds. It's just not very exciting to read about.

In fact, every time I feel like we should just start accelerating forward, we take a few more steps back to do basics.

I complained to my dressage instructor and she said something like "this is dressage".

Damn.

I'd be discouraged, but Courage has really started developing some sexy muscles in his neck and butt and his attitude has never been better, sooooo we're learning to rock the long and low and slow.

Am I dressaging yet?

22 comments:

  1. This is why Dressage gets a bad name - because 100 walk-halt transitions are a building block to some really cool things. And once you get to those cool things, you're addicted, because there's nothing else like it. But during that mind-numbing base-building period, you may want to pursue more exciting activities like watching paint dry. Persevere, it will be fun eventually!

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    1. Perfectly stated! LOL! The coolest thing is the POWER you'll have though once you have the adjustability. I love love love transitions within the gaits, especially the trot. It's so cool to feel them fill up the space between the collected trot pushing uphill and powerfully into the working trot then graduating into a pumping lengthened trot. You're heading towards very very cool dressagy things with him!

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  2. You are definitely dressaging. It is always about basics. Seriously though, his body has really changed a lot and he looks even more fantastic than before. In the pictures, I look at them and think you are totally legit dressagers :)

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  3. His topline is crazy-awesome. You are getting there! I feel like I am constantly going back to basics, but it makes the fancy, fun stuff better!

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  4. Hah, boring lessons and boring posts = the story of my boring dressage life. Glad it is not just me. The pain is real!

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  5. Once you get to the fancy stuff you'll be so happy you did the million walk to walk transitions!

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  6. Super cool! It is definitely more interesting to your readers than you think. We're all out here struggling with the same stuff (ok well some of us are). I think what you're doing is awesome and I'm actually totally jealous! Rock on with your bad self!

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  7. Definitely dressaging. What'll hook you more than the muscles is when he starts really working with you in those basics, and it starts to feel like you're reading each others minds instead of "just riding."

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  8. If it makes you feel any better I have been practicing 10m, 15m, and 20m circles mostly at a walk but sometimes at a trot for the last two months of dressage lessons. In addition to many walk trot transitions, I feel your pain!

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  9. Basics are boring... but so important! You'll get there :)

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  10. I get you 100% Super T is hating my dressage Ideas

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  11. Prisoner is also working on basics, so unexciting, but will lead to all the exciting things!

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  12. Oh dear. I think I too need to do a hundred walk trot transitions. But... they are hard. And Murray gets cranky. And walking is hard for baby horses. I want a buy on this work.... until never. OK FINE. I will do them.

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  13. There is a lot to be said for developing the walk. That's why it is worth double points in dressage. Hello???? lol

    It is also great work for cold weather. You can still get in a good ride when the temps are total crap and your horse won't be all sweaty from it.

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  14. Does it help to know that I have spent entire lessons (and significant parts of lessons) doing nothing but working walk/free walk/working walk transitions? The funny thing is, it's not the least bit boring when you're doing it, because to do it right, you have to ride. every. step. And it's such a basic building block and your horse will be so awesome after, you'll wonder why you ever skipped it in the first place!

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    1. It's not that it's boring to do as much as it's boring to write about doing. You know. "He finally softened his poll AND THEN I ASKED FOR MORE FORWARD".

      Not exactly a bodice ripper, if you know what I mean.

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  15. You know what they say - jumping is like Dressage with speed-bumps in the way!!

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  16. You always apologize for the "boring" lessons I watch with you guys, but they aren't boring at all. I love seeing all the progress you guys are making, it is awesome!

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  17. My least favorite thing about dressaging. But its worth it!!

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  18. His sexy muscles are totally worth it though!!!! I'd say you're definitely dressaging! Keep up the great transitions. They are the key to everything. :-)

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