TrainerB was only available for a lesson Sunday of last weekend, which was a wee bit of a bummer because I had tentative plans to meet up with some friends for a trail ride that day, but I ended up opting for a lesson instead - there will be lots of weekends the barn is at shows I can't afford (lolz) so plenty more opportunities to trail ride, but I really felt like Ruby and I needed some redemption after the show. I needed the reminder that I AM capable of riding my horse, and even occasionally riding her well. And boy did this lesson deliver.
I warmed up while TrainerB was finishing a training ride on a freshly minted I-1 QH/friesian cross (who I adore, he's SO sweet), so once she got off we were able to jump right in. And the name of the game was SUPPLENESS and RELAXATION. You know, the things we DIDN'T have at the show, lol. We started out with 10m circles at every letter in both directions, with several changes of direction via 10m half circle serpentines across the short side of the arena. Do you know how many dressage letters there are? SO MANY LETTERS. It was a good reminder to me to BREATHE and relax my shoulders - quite often if she was tense and braced, there was corresponding tension in my shoulders. And frequently if I took and released a big breath, she would as well. WEIRD.
|10m circles all day every day lol
|FB friends quickly pointed out that we looked like we coordinated for the day, haha.
After the trotwork was really consistently soft and supple, we worked on carrying that over into the canter. There was zero leaping into the canter (well, minus one transition she made, fell back out of, and I bumped her a little harder than necessary to pick it back up again, which you'll see in the video down below lol) and the canter was infinitely more rateable.... soooooomeday we'll have that canter at a show, sigh. But in the meantime, it was good to work on how slow and soft I could make it, and how much of the energy I could continue recycling through her entire body, instead of propping like a porpoise. The canter bears basically zero resemblance to the one I had in mid-March before the chiropractor's appointment and the show.
|She still falls out of it occasionally, but is easily rebalanced and sent back into the canter.
|And to the right lead, just WOW. I can't believe this was our "bad lead" last year (or you know, even two weekends ago at the show haha).
I scrolled back in my youtube history and found some of the first videos from our lessons in early September (didn't have any video from the August lessons unfortunately) and it doesn't even look like the same horse. If I had more patience for splicing video on IG I'd make some before and after reels of it, but I am fundamentally very, very lazy lol.