Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Smoke Coming out my Ears

Photo by Alyssa
You might remember this picture if you've been around for a while. This is Cuna and I in the dressage phase of our last horse trial. I was determined to improve my score from the 39 at our first derby. People who knew Cuna thought a five point improvement in a month was too ambitious, but we NAILED a 29. Booyah.

So why am I bragging now? Because once again, I have my nose to the dressage grindstone. The arena is mostly rideable and S (who gave us a few thorough butt kickings last summer) occasionally gives me some pointers.

Yesterday I really focused on getting Cuna on my outside aids. I like to sit uselessly and brace my inside rein to fake some bend. To remedy that, I held my outside rein steady (MORE LEG! MORE CORE! SHORTER REINS!! Thanks S), but took my inside rein as a driving rein to make myself more aware of how I used it.

Then, because I know dressage makes Cuna anxious, I focused on giving with the inside rein for a neck pat, particularly during transitions. This gives him somewhere to go and assures him he is still the best horse in the universe.

Of course, then I noticed that I like to take my inside leg off every time I give the inside rein. Oops.

We took plenty of walk breaks since we're both coming back into condition, but my head still nearly exploded. Steady, short outside. Confused by inside hand. Both thumbs up. Inside leg. Oops, and outside. Give rein. STEADY LEG ACK WHERE IS HAND and transition.

Again and again. Watch out novice competitors--we are going to rock your world.

Oh, and we need lessons. Ha.


  1. And yet people say 'you just go around in circles, how hard is that?'.

  2. Jelly of your 29. Never gotten one of those with my OTTB, haha so you're well on your way to beasting out :D

  3. If owl ever get a 29 I will pee my pants. It doesn't matter if he's done advanced, dressage is not his this. A ALL

  4. Oh yes the wonderful show where we both (unexpectedly) rocked the dressage, good times!

  5. I think we had the same ride.

    Or at least the same stream of consciousness (or lack thereof) during it...

    love cunabear. so cute.

  6. I think I've finally reached the point where the smoked has died down, and now my brain is just leaking out my ears. Its all worth it though when kickass scores (woot 29!) and pretty ribbons are involved.

  7. You guys are going to kick some serious dressage butt this year!

  8. Learning to use the outside rein is a wonderful thing! *G*

    Keep up the good work.

  9. Lessons? You are above all that! And no one really uses that "inside leg to outside rein" thing. A little "move the bit in the mouth" and kick should suffice.

  10. Unless you make it to AZ where the rules may be different...

  11. 29!! Yay :-) its definitely a lot more than just going round in circles.

  12. The dressage grindstone is the bane of my existence. Good luck, I have faith that you'll get even better scores in the future.


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