Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Dressage 101

Yesterday, I had my first official Dressage lesson on my own horse.  A little background here, I've had my horse for 21 years now.  I trained him.  So, needless to say, he's had no formal training and he's old (as well as me).  I wasn't sure what to expect of him, but he surprised me.

First we worked on guiding and staying on a 4" path.  Basically, finding a focal point, and following it.  If something grabbed his attention, we changed directions (90 degree turn or less) and found a new focal point.  After a couple of these, he was really getting it.  First at a walk, then trot.  Next we worked on transitions, using the same exercise.   Finding a focal point, trot to it, change directions, walk to the next, find the next and trot again.  Finally we graduated to a canter.  Here is the thing, I rarely can sit his canter, it's so elevated and it throws me from the saddle.  I'm sure it has to do with collection and training.  Plus he prefers a right lead over the left.  I know that most horses do have a preferred side to them, just as humans do.  In order to get him to take the correct lead, it takes a lot of preparation and position and throwing my weight.  It's certainly something that we need to work on!

In this first lesson, I used my English bridle, but I rode with my Fallis Balanced Ride western saddle.  I have an old Wintec English saddle, but I just didn't want to try that with the first lesson.  I'm hoping by the end of summer, I can find a decent Dressage saddle for us.

My goal is to ride a Dressage test in a schooling show.  I know that I will be a nervous mess, but I am sure I will enjoy it.  I was nervous about this riding lesson!


Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

What fun! I'd love to do something like that someday.

Linda said...

Very cool, Alisa. What a change!