Calm, Forward, Straight

Calm, Forward, Straight

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In the Arena #19 - Just what the doctor ordered

Having a (hellishly) irritating day? (lawyers... neighbors burning toxic trash... frustrating clients) My prescription is to head straight for the barn without delay! If mucking, raking and moving hay doesn't heal you, give your horse a long loving groom, tack him up and ride, ride, ride :)

Goals for our ride yesterday:

1. Be in the moment / focus and maintain attention for the benefit of my horse

2. Ride Val like the horse that I want him to be / use the lightest aides possible 

3. Visualization and thought as the first level of aiding

4. Lose my expectations (see #1)

We did some lovely relaxed work: good walk/halt transitions, maintained nice contact, minimal resistance. In the last part of the ride I gave up the reins, halting and turning off of my seat and legs only. It has been quite a while since our last ride, and this was a great way to get back into the swing of things.

It can be challenging to be the only dressage rider in your riding community. "Don't you get bored just going around in circles?" I've been feeling concerned about our (lack of) progress lately. Thank goodness for my trainer and our "phone lessons". She keeps me from getting too discouraged and reminds me (gently) to watch my attitude. Thanks Erin :)


  1. Sounds like good stuff! Nice that you have someone to consult with, if only by phone.

  2. My trainer is great. I'm also very thankful for my online community. Your blog has been especially helpful Kate. I'm getting a lot out the Mark Rashid clinic reports :)

  3. I went out last night and started to get back in the "swing" - did a little ground work. Now if only the weather will simply stay in the normal range of temperatures so I can keep it up, maybe we can work our way into fall!

  4. I think the best thing you could have done was relax and stay in the moment. Sounds like you had a great ride. Just by asking 'don't you get bored going around in circles' shows that those asking don't really know what dressage is ultimately about.

    Attitude? What attitude? You're too sweet to have an attitude.

  5. I'm right there with you Billie - ready for the pattern to change :)

  6. Thanks Arlene-

    We did have a very good ride.

    I keep finding that my toughest challenges come from within - not internalizing other folks opinions or getting wrapped up in ego stuff - that's the attitude part :)


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