So, have you seen the video of Elisa Wallace doing freestyle dressage on her mustang at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival? It’s an older video, from 2014, but if you haven’t seen it, you should watch it here: Amazing Mustang Dressage
Here were my takeaways from the video:
1.Um, she is a 4* rider and she still has time to work with Mustangs and get them to not only do dressage but also lay down and rear on command.
2. Wow, she chose to ride bareback. Interesting
3. She looks like she is having fun. A lot of fun.
4. Huh. I seem to think Georgie isn’t capable of certain things because of her conformation. But maybe if I worked harder, she’d be capable of more.
5. Do I want a Mustang?
I don’t know what it was about this video that really hit a cord with me, whether it was the clear partnership between horse and rider, that she showed how saddles and bridles are crutches we lean on instead of becoming stronger riders, or that even an imperfect dressage test can be absolutely perfect. All I know is I felt dissatisfied with myself after watching it, but not in a bad way. In an inspiring way.
While I may not be ready to do a dressage test without a saddle or bridle, I do think I can start engaging Georgie’s brain more. I’ve decided I want to teach Georgie a trick. I’ve worked with some of the top dog behaviorists and I know that clicker and target training are techniques you can use on any animal. So, perhaps what I lack as a rider I can make up for as a trainer. Of sorts.
So, I’ll get my target stick and clicker out, and I’ll start seeing what Georgie wants to show me she can do. And hopefully I’ll be having as much fun as Elisa was while I watched her and her Mustangs.