Maybe We Can Dressage

I had my second dressage lesson recently and it went really well! For the second half, at least. For the first half, I just wasn’t riding great or asking too much.

This was how I rode the first part of the lesson:


Straight arms. Why? At least I was sitting up straight though.

We were working on quality in the walk and trot, getting the horses to track up and power from behind. Apparently my brain thought this meant I should stick my hands out and ride on a near-loose rein.

Trainer B eventually stopped me and came over to help with Artie a bit. She wanted to see if he could get round and soft on the bit. It took some convincing but once he figured it out, he was nice and light in a frame. It was so much easier to get flexion and bend at that point. Shocking, I know.

I was also given a note to bend my elbows. (Okay, I was given this note a few times but it eventually stuck.) The contact felt firm but not like I was pulling back, and Artie was staying in a nice frame. We progressed to trot and he kept the frame and throughness in the transition and into the trot!

Grainy screen grab from video; still love it

This is how we can ride when we both work a little harder. Bent elbows, strong back, relaxed leg, forward and through. I just wish I were – everybody now! – sitting up a little taller. We even got some nice canter in there, though it was bit tougher for Artie.

For proof, here’s a video of us doing a 20-meter(ish) trot circle. And looking mighty cute, if I say so myself. Although I do wish I were sitting…well, you know.

I’m finding that I really enjoy dressage. I may even start to love it. (Not as much as jumping though! [Yet. {Probably.}])

What is one small fix you made in your riding that made a big difference?

14 thoughts on “Maybe We Can Dressage

  1. Y’all look great! A small fix for me was when an instructor told me to “show off” every time I ride. Thinking that way made me sit up much straighter and my aids to be much more forward thinking (and helped my riding since I tend to ‘curl’ in). Dressage turned fun for me when I realized how many different things you can do with it. Keep up the good work 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My trainer recently told me to look around the turns with my eyes, but to keep my body centered with the horse throughout the turn. OMG, so much difference!

    Liked by 1 person

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