When We Dressage

My last two lessons I’ve hopped on Georgie and asked to work on me. My position mainly. We’ve worked on Georgie a bit, getting her to stretch to the bit, using her neck. Georgie wouldn’t be described as a tense horse at all. But when she is confused, or isn’t enjoying what is going on with her rider, you can see all the muscles in her neck tense and her jaw seizes. Ok, maybe not, but that’s how I picture it. All fluidity flies out the window. Getting her to stretch to the bit and relax her neck muscles seems to relax her entire body, and I am committed to working her in this frame once a week.

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Uphill frame, my more comfortable place.

My struggle for the first lesson, besides not pulling on the right rein, was sitting back while letting her head and neck stretch forward and somewhat downward. I just wanted to clamp my shoulders and tilt forward. So, that was a week of homework right there.

The second lesson I worked Georgie in a more uphill frame and worked on transitions. I like to do nothing in a transition. That one step between canter to trot, I just clamp my thighs and brace. Which is super helpful all around. And weirdly, I can feel Georgie tense up.

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So, we worked on these repeatedly. And I had a major aha moment. When I go from canter to trot, I tend to throw my shoulders around. We’ve been working on creating less shoulder movement. But what I realized was, the shoulders are a result of the hips. If I square my hips in that last canter stride, and keep them from continuing to move back and forth as if I am still cantering, the rest of my body does the same. Kinda amazing, I know.

I love these little “aha” moments that sometimes are huge “aha” moments. I have them occasionally and they save me from more months of working on the same things over and over.

So, tell me, what was your most recent “aha” moment?

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8 thoughts on “When We Dressage

  1. To hold up from saddle with small top muscles on the inside of the thighs. Hard to explain. Intricate. But it works!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. KateRose says:

    Sounds like a great aha moment! Love your purple breeches 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. shelbyrallen says:

    I had a small aha moment this summer when my flat trainer told me to let his canter jump up at me. This was a change from the usual “sit back. farther. farther…” and so on. A change in wording made it click, and of course his canter got better and better!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Emma says:

    I struggle so much with transitions but that sounds like a great way to think about it! We have been accused of “flopping” into downwards lol, needs work!!

    Liked by 1 person

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