Working Hard at Dressage

Warning. This post is going to contain some bragging. And not a lot of great media.

This summer Georgie and I were in a bit of a rough spot. Ok, actually I was in a rough spot. I had gotten lazy- I am lucky enough to have an honest horse who tries her heart out no matter what I manage to do to try and mess it up. I had been waiting years to compete at Rebecca Farms and I feel like I didn’t show up and give Georgie the ride she deserved in either dressage or SJ.

Who hasn't felt this way?

Who hasn’t felt this way?

So, when we came back from Rebecca I decided it was time to get my ass in gear. You may remember the “position lessons”  I subjected myself to. They weren’t fun, but between lessons I worked my ass off to continue working on my position. Now, you’re not going to look at me and think- wow, she’s a lovely rider, but this work has made Georgie and I such a stronger team. I can ask more from her, in a way she understands, and I know that I am giving her every chance to do what I ask by asking for it correctly. ( Most of the time, no adult amateur is perfect, right?)

So, since the end of July Georgie and I have been doing a LOT of dressage work. In anticipation of the T3D I began working at the sitting trot. Our rides have become focused and purposeful. I actually enjoy riding at the sitting trot. I enjoy having sore abs and weirdly I enjoy working on getting my seat better.

Inavale 2014

Inavale 2014. Still one of our best dressage lessons

I felt like we were on the right track. I felt like we were getting better. I was having some trouble with my position in the leg yield so in one lesson I asked Sarah to hop on Georgie and do some leg yields  so I could watch her position. Not surprisingly she had no problem with it. She asked me if there was anything else she’d like me to have her work on. Sure, work on her right lead canter.

We were mostly quiet. But then I said “Huh. She looks like a completely different horse from a few months ago.” Sarah did some collected to lengthened canter in a matter of a few strides, something we had struggled with all spring.

Sarah pulled Georgie up and said something along the lines of, ” she feels amazing.” Then she asked if there was anything else she should work on because she didn’t want to get off.

Ok, so this is the same horse, that back in May, while I was at a work conference Sarah rode, and had nothing good to say except that she looked fit. I was over the  moon that Georgie had progressed so much with me riding her and working my ass off.

Because I love homework I worked some more on some things and felt ready for my lesson this past Tuesday. Sarah was mostly silent for the lesson. She gave some tips and suggestions, but it was a different lesson than usual, where we work on getting Georgie rounder and more consistent. We whipped through warm up, lengthening, leg yield and canter work. We worked hard, and it felt great. Our lesson was short- 35 minutes. Sarah mentioned we could keep going but she didn’t feel like we needed to. We needed to work on the fine details and refine things, but not canter in circles just so we had a full hour lesson.

This is EXACTLY what we looked like. In my mind...

This is EXACTLY what we looked like. In my mind…

This has never happened in my life. I’ve never had a lesson where there is silence for a majority of it. It was exactly the boost I needed after working my butt off trying to get better. I’m so lucky to have a horse who tries so hard and learns so quickly. I can’t wait to keep working on my sitting trot, keeping my contact consistent, and asking for more and more from Georgie.

Dare I say dressage is fun?

Man we are lucky to be equestrians.


Nadia and Georgie

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3 thoughts on “Working Hard at Dressage

  1. emma says:

    Georgie sounds similar to my mare in that she can put in such nice efforts even with some pilot error – and also that she’s retaining all your hard work and ‘homework’ so well. you must have been over the moon to hear Sarah say such nice things about the mare compared to last year. nice job!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So happy for you!! Homework is really paying off. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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