Here's an honest trotting shot from our first-ever legit dressage lesson. In the post, I talked about how Courage had a short, quick stride (thanks to me), just dropped his neck at the withers, and took multiple laps of the arena to do a single decent transition from walk to trot. At this point, the plan was to do dressage for three months, then go back to jumper land in the spring.
It's been a long, personal struggle, but Courage and I are committed to dressage. It's a great fit for us right now. We've spent the year doing lessons and clinics, plus getting out and showing in pursuit of a more broke, less-green horse. We did decently at training level for the year and have now doubled down in pursuit of first level next spring. This shot is Courage in a clinic a couple weeks back. I just love the engagement and connection he's showing.
More than that though, I love what this year has done for our relationship. After everything this spring, we finally reached an accord. Courage is really MY horse now. I don't threaten to sell him after another giant spook at whatever-it-is this time--I just laugh at his antics and put him back to work. I've had a crappy history as an adult with horses in which the longest I've had any creature is 3 years.
I'm looking forward to blowing that number out of the water with this little guy. <3