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She's Not a Baby Anymore!

Early spring saw some immediate changes in how Ellie carried herself and our dressage work started to truly improve.  There had been times last year where flat work felt like a fight and I wondered to myself if she was ever going to just relax and listen to me haha.

Thankfully, as the title suggests, Ellie has suddenly grown up in front of my eyes.  We have had some really stellar lessons lately, where I feel like I am suddenly able to make things click.  We also had an incredibly frustrating dressage lesson a few weeks ago where Ellie was in rip-roaring peeing heat (not normal for her) and we worked through 45 minutes of her refusing to bend right.  So, ya know, as much as she is improving, she is still an opinionated redheaded mare!  ;-)

But, I have to give her credit because she is really working her little butt off for me!  Sadly, I had not been able to schedule in a jump lesson before our first three-phase, which led to me riding her ridiculously backward at a slow trot the entire …

On Being a Student Again....FINALLY!

I have not taken a riding lesson since I graduated from college in 2001. I did take driving lessons within the past 7 years however. I miss being a student of riding. :(

I started Dreamy under saddle in 2003, but did not actually start doing anything "for real" until the end of 2006. We were successful at the "ameoba" levels in 2007, but I knew I had taken her as far I as could without an instructor. There were holes in her training that I knew I needed help with. Mostly I knew I was not riding her correctly, as seven years without instruction does lend itself to BAD HABITS. And boy do I have some.
Look at those ELBOWS! UGGGG.....

Riding HUNT SEAT in a dressage saddle! UGGGGG!


I love the area I live in....usually. There are downfalls, such as finding a (good) dressage instructor. Not only do I NOT want to drive 45-60 minutes to take a lesson, with gas prices I just cannot afford it.

So I finally found an instructor about 20 minutes from me in the neighboring town. Judy is fantastic. So far we have taken 2 lessons: May 6 and May 20. I can only budget two lessons a month (every other week) for now. My instructor is very willing to work within my budget and gives me lots of homework. :)

The first lesson was mostly about getting my hands where they should be. I tend to ride with "piano hands", where I basically break the line in my wrist to the bit. And I tend to ride with my reins too long. And think about seven years worth of riding this way every day. :)

And of course Dreamy decides she cannot pick up the canter. Oh fun! So we did a bunch of transitions, mostly her running through all of my aids. But at least Judy got to see us at our worst and she did not kick me out of the ring! :)

Our May 20 lesson (last night) was SO MUCH BETTER. We actually have canter transitions now! :) I worked very hard getting Dreamy to engage and balance and step into the canter, rather than plow into it. ;-) And Judy could tell! Yeah! We did some leg yielding and canter exercises. Things are starting to look up.

Next lesson is June 3. :)

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