Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I guess I forgot to sacrifice to the weather gods. Just last last week, it rained Tuesday night, so we were forced to do a jump-free lesson indoors. Guess what? The same thing happened this week. Fortunately, Cathy went over while I was tacking up and watered the arena so it wouldn't be as dusty.

Unfortunately, while Izzy and I were lunging, Cathy pulled the long, green hose out of the bubble. Izzy almost sat down and said SNAKE!!!! It took us a while to work through being snorty about that.

I rode in Cathy's dressage saddle again, and it felt really good. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that dressage is so much easier with a saddle that's designed for it. (My saddle is due here on Monday!!) The focus of our lesson was on riding from the saddle instead of using my hands, which was excellent. We did a little baby shoulder-fore and leg yields in which I used my hands to soften Izzy only and moved her over from my seat. Once I got back in the hang of it, I could see a definite improvement in her way of going.

Cathy also had me work on controlling my body to regulate Izzy's rhythm. Instead of tensing up and overbending her when she gets quick, I need to pull my shoulders back, keep my seat back, and regulate my rhythm. I tend to let her pull me forward and get in a tug of war. In the canter, I need to hold the outside rein, then soften on the inside to let her go forward and carry herself. We had about 3 strides of lovely self-carriage before she lost her balance.

All in all, it was an excellent lesson and the weather is beautiful outside. I'm just hoping that it's warm enough to dry the arena for tomorrow.

Oh! And while I was cleaning this morning, I realized that I totally forgot to put one blog on my list yesterday, so here it is:

A Work in Progress
Shannon and Spider are into dressage. And good at it. Shannon talks about the challenges of life and horses and gives excellent feedback on dressage issues.

Sorry anyone else I left out...


  1. Three strides is a start! And a good start at that. As the muscles develop you will get a few more strides, a few more, a few more as you build the blocks of her training and movement.

    Less rein, more leg and seat? Yay Cathy, she's my kind of trainer. This is what I spoke of about not being a fan of half halts. The horse should rate off of you and your movements, speeding up or slowing down in relation to the rider. It shows you have their attention. If there is nothing for them to tug on or pull against, they cannot tug or pull against you.

  2. Excellent lesson again. The key to everything is that outside rein. The little corrections, with your body and perhaps a touch of rein are nice subtle half halts. For now, you will need to perform them often, but as Izzy starts to learn to carry herself, you'll have to do less and less work.

    Trust me. Good solid, basic dressage work will help immensely with the jumping. You both are going to benefit from all the flat work.

  3. Aww, thanks for the shout-out! Glad you had a good lesson! One of the hardest things I had to learn was to relax and sit back when a horse gets quick. It seems so counter-intuituve, but if you get tense the horse will feel that and the whole situation will get out of control.

    You and Izzy are really on a roll! I'm jealous of all the training time you're putting in. Hopefully spring will get here soon and I'll be able to have some horsey time, too!

  4. I like that you were happy with your three strides of self-carriage! Too many people act disappointed if they don't get everything the first time they ask! I always figure if I can get 2 strides of something I'm happy- then I know it's possible, just need to get stronger and more balanced. Great attitude!


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