Calm, Forward, Straight

Calm, Forward, Straight

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

In the Arena #7 - Dressage is the fundamental obedience training for the rider

There has been a recurring issue in Val's and my practice related to turning. (specifically left turns) For a while I thought there might be a problem with my horse, but since he seemed to have no trouble turning left without me on his back so that theory went out the window. :) Actually, turning has been my most persistent riding issue period - I'm sure my trainer would agree.

Today our work turning to the right went very smoothly, but when we changed rein we found it difficult to complete a round circle for much of our session. Val was cutting out at the top of the circle every time. Eventually we worked through it... after I realized (finally) that I was failing to sit equally on my seat bones - too much weight on the inside seat bone / leg with my inside side collapsed. Once I got equal on my seat the problem resolved. Val is a very good teacher as he patiently gives me what I ask him for until I figure out how to ask correctly for what I want... 

Part of the responsibility of the dressage rider is responsibility over one's body. Although I understand the theory for turning a horse... consistently practicing it is another matter. Too often I still have to run through a mental checklist of what I need to do (or not do) to achieve my objective. I am hopeful that as I continue to have these realizations, the proper positioning and aiding will become second nature to me.

"if the horse is cutting out, it is more likely that the outside seat bone is not adequately on the saddle because its pillar is collapsed, or the rider is leaning in. Other reasons could be because the rider is pulling on the inside rein thereby overbending the neck, or the horse has not been brought sufficiently up to the outside aids, or there is a lack of outside rein or leg." Erik Herbermann  / A Horseman's Notes

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I found your site through Billie's - I like the name! I have enjoyed visiting your site and reading about your adventures. Oh, and the photo of the dog and cat on your sidebar? Too cute! Love it. I'll be back!


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