Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Note

I had another great dressage ride on Izzy yesterday. We are starting to get the hang of shoulder fore. I did have to stop and do some turn on the forehand with her to remind her that she can, in fact, move her haunches right.

Mostly, I just wanted to make a note of this in case I ever need to come back to it. About half to 2/3 of the way through our ride, Izzy started switching her tail when I asked for more impulsion in the trot, particularly to the right. (Although her lengthen-shortens were lovely). I suspect it's because she was getting tired and wasn't sure she really wanted to work that hard, but I want to keep track and make sure there isn't a troublesome pattern emerging.

We have pretty recently stepped up our training program a LOT, and she is advancing every time we ride, as am I, so it makes sense that she's tired or maybe slightly body sore. Any ideas for increasing fitness other than just doing the work? We'll be doing trot and canter sets as soon as the track and/or outdoor arena is rideable, but I'm not holding my breath. It is still January after all.

In related news, we had a barn girls night and watched Secretariat last night. It was really fun, and since I rode over to it with one of my fellow boarders, I got to come back to the barn around 10pm (so late for me!). Izzy was adorable! She came over to the fence and sniffed me and let me pet her. As much fun as yesterday was, that moment really made my day.


  1. It's hard to work on fitness when you are stuck indoors. A dressage master I rode with advocated 4 minute gallops for dressage horses, even in the arena if need be.

    I think your approach of riding different disciplines on different days is a good idea. The concept is to break up the type of work and the monotony while you are in the arena. Obviously, cross country work, with hills if you have them is really good, but that's not exactly what winter is least not here in NJ!

  2. Sounds like you and Izzy are improving a lot :)

    I love those moments when I go out to see Poppy late at night and we have a nice cuddle :) It makes everything worth it.

  3. One of the purposes of dressage at the higher levels of collection was to "work" the horses when weather conditions precluded fitness work outside(now I'm racking my brain to remember which great said this)... so yes, it can be tiring =)

    Shoulder fore... one of the best ways to keep it correct and for the horse to understand it faster (and stay willing) is to ask for it for a for a few strides then ride through out of it on the curve their body is already in (as compared to straightening back onto the track). You can add more strides as they build strength, but the flowing always forward in a way that makes sense to them ("why turn if we're not turning, I'll just be pulled back again?")helps them "get it" and like it better.


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