Thursday, March 12, 2015

Conflicted Equestrian

I have a problem that only other horse people understand.

I was in a dressage clinic this past weekend. When I ride dressage, all I want to do is dressage. I'm fascinated by the logical progression and training. I love seeing the pieces fall into place and I'm addicted to the feeling of connection with the horse. I feel like all I want to do is ride up the levels like some sort of tail-coated centaur and do complex, intricate movements while reveling in all the grace and power of a horse.

jumps!
And then I jump.

And when I'm jumping, all I want to do is jump. I love that the horse is responsible for himself and I love the kind of team that makes us. I love the strength and balance and precision it takes to ride a course well. I love the feeling of the horse jumping under me and I'm addicted to the feeling of freedom from the laws of gravity. I feel like all I want to do is chase better rounds and bigger jumps like the fearless jockey I become during a good ride.



TACK ASPLOSION
It's not a bad problem. It's just that when I'm standing in the tack room deciding what to do on any given day, I get stuck. Do I jump? I loooooove my jump tack. Do I dressage? I love that stuff too.

I think I need to make a schedule.


27 comments:

  1. Hmm, a very tricky problem indeed. I did face this problem often when I was jumping more and making a schedule did help. I told myself I'd only jump x number of times a week and the rest were dressage rides. Now that I ride almost exclusively dressage I find myself wanted to jump very infrequently.

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  2. I can't really offer any good advice, except that this is a serious #riderproblem ;)

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  3. Welcome to the struggles of eventers (and combined training folks) alike! My trainer told me I should be jumping 2x a week, and the rest dressage. One ride can be able technicality and so the jumps stay low (<2'6") and the other I can jump at competition height (3'3")... Have I been able to do this, even once? Nope, but hopefully spring will change that!

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    1. ooh that's a great training plan

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  4. Yes I agree a schedule helps. #riderproblems!

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  5. This is basically why I chose eventing. Everything! All the time!

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  6. One of the reasons that I love my new saddle is that the seat is deep enough for Chloe and me to work on our "Baby Dressage" one day and go jump the next! But the struggle is real for you eventers. One day I may be able to join your ranks! :)

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  7. You know, you can do both. Really, you should be doing both! Aren't you using your dressage skills when you're lining up for the jumps and controlling the speed and tempo and all that other stuff that makes it so that you can actually control your horse while jumping? Yes, yes you are. Dressage is not exclusive to top hats and tails, you do it over the jumps and on the trail and any other time you're in the saddle, even if it's not a dressage saddle. ;)

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  8. Oh girl, you know I can relate to this. Story of my life.

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  9. I won't jump more than two days a week and typically not in lessons, so that determines my schedule for me.

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  10. I have that issue as well, but since we suck at dressage and I want to be good this year, I am finding myself doing more dressage rides. But cwd damnit!

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  11. Even the Devoucoux wasn't enough to make me love dressage. I never do two dressage rides in a row, ponykins isn't a fan. Nor am I. Which probably has a lot to do with his opinion. Whatever. Jumping = better.

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  12. :) awesome issue to have! A horse that is fun and good at all the fun things! Schedule it up, jumps, hacks, dressage. Jump one day a week and work on the technical questions at low heights, one day a week with more height, less tech questions. Vary the lengths of your schools regardless of which activity youre up to.

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  13. I don't jump a lot at home, because I like instruction over fences...so that pretty much decides it for me lol. But hey - at least you LIKE both those things...and its not the other way around lol

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  14. Oh, the horrors. I'd feel sorry for you but... nah. ;)

    Schedules can be good, but don't feel glued to it. Sometimes you get to the barn planning X but your horse says it's really more of a Y day. Just go with it!

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  15. What a wonderful problem to have!! Mother nature dictates my schedule half the year - I prefer not to jump at night, even with lights, which means flatwork during the work week and jumping on weekends. Now with the time change its free choice work so to speak, haha.

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  16. Mary jumps about once a week (when the horses are fit--right now they're just coming back into work). The rest of the time she rides in dressage tack--one hack and two dressage schools. If I have two lessons a week on Mo, we're likely to jump both times. But Mo is trotting tiny jumps. And that's to go BN and N on her horses--things would change if she was going training or up.

    Anyway, yeah, I'd make a schedule as a guideline and then wiggle it around as necessary to account for where his brain is or what shows/clinics are coming up.

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  17. Schedule!!! Tuesday/ Wed are flat days, Thurs/ Fri jump days, Saturday flat, and Sunday play day for us!

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  18. I feel the same way. When I sit in my dressage saddle, I feel like I love it the best. And then I sit in my jump saddle and I think I love IT the best. Such problems to have.

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  19. Dear one, they are one in the same. "Dressage" means "training," so use all the dressage principles and apply them to the jumping. Trust me, the only difference is the saddle for going over the fences. All of the dressage exercises at the lower level are designed to make an athletic sport horse. You can do lateral work on an approach to a fence, collect and extend, and for heaven''s sake, jump up to 3 feet from a trot--I've even done 3'6". Don't separate the disciplines so much in your head.

    Now, a schedule would be good. You don't want to jump Courage every day anyhow. So, weather permitting, set up days for jumping and days for flat work. Add some cavaletti and trotting poles on one of the flatwork days and do pick at least one day a week to go out on a trail ride.

    I used to keep a record of my riding on a calendar and that way, I always knew how fit and ready my horse was for whatever competition/clinic loomed on the horizon.

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  20. Schedule for sure! When I used to cross train, I spent 1 day jumping, 2 days on flatwork/dressage, 1 day power training trotting ponies up and down hills, and 1 day going on a relaxed trail ride. Happy ponies!

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  21. This is why I love eventing...you can do all of the things ;)

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  22. I have to follow suit and say, that's why I think B and I want to event. We love it all. And dressage is so good because it's the base for everything. You guys look great doing whatever you pick!

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  23. Oh yes, a schedule. I *live* off my schedule. I make it and obsess over it and follow it to a T, so that I can track my progression and plan out my goals for where I want to be along the way - and also know what I should be working on every day, and keep a balance! Luckily when driving you don't have to pick which tack you need for the day, you can do some dressage and then pop through some obstacles and go right back to your dressage. Can't say I haven't spent many a ride doing dressage work and then popping over several jumps right in the middle of it though - and also I go through a thorough dressage-type warmup before every jump session. Or I used to anyway, when I was actively eventing!

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  24. I feel you. This is why I event. (That and I have a pretty bombproof xc horse who doesn't lose her mind when open spaces happen... most of the time).
    I usually try to balance out jumping, flatwork, lunging and hacking/fitness in a horse's working week. It helps create a balanced horse as well as prevent boredom for both horse and rider. My event horse hacks on Monday, dressage on Tuesday, lesson on Wednesday, hack or lunging on Thursday, jumping on Friday, and hacking on Saturday. Depending on what our trainer wants to do in the lesson, we only actually jump once or twice a week.

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  25. haha what a great problem to have! right now i only have one saddle so i can mix both dressage and jumping in a single ride... but hopefully one day i'll have actual dressage tack and may have to be more careful about my scheduling lol

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