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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 …

Was I Dreaming.....??

Wow, we had a FANTASTIC ride tonight. I wanted to just take it easy and have a nice forward, light and soft in the bridle dressage ride. Because of our upcoming busy weekend, I did not want to work on anything new or have a fitness ride.

Well I'll be darned if I got exactly the kind of ride I wanted....she was forward (of course, usually I have to work to keep her from being too forward) but also light and soft. NO fighting, come-to-Jesus moments, or fussy head fit moments...especially in our trot work after the canter. I was floored. This is the FIRST TIME that has happened since we started canter work....so realistically since last year.

She also trotted well after our canters. There was no fussiness in the connection, no bulging against my inside leg, no running through my aids, no blowing through my half halts. We just trotted.....cantered....and then trotted again. Full field and then 20 m circles. I was worried she would suddenly FREAK out or something....LOL!!!! She was almost too good. But I enjoyed every second because I worked my tail off to have a ride like this. Tonight's ride was a culmination of 2 year's worth of blood, sweat, and tears....and a few swear words. ;-)

Dreamy's left side has definitely gotten stronger. Instead of her left lead making her right seem SO MUCH better, it made them seem almost equally. VERY COOL!

Funny how horses (and kids) always do what you expect of them. What is that, a self fulfilling prophecy? If you go into the ride expecting a fight (and let's face it, this year I have gone into most rides thinking, "I am GOING TO get that canter BOTH ways!") and it does result in a fight. I think was different tonight because of my positive mindset and Dreamy's (less steep) learning curve. There were many light bulb moments tonight. :D Especially in the counterbending and then the supple....release. Extended time where Dreamy was in balance, on the bit, and holding herself up. SO NICE! Rather than the fleeting 2 secs. worth of wow.

Tomorrow is the stadium jumping clinic with Steuart Pittman. I am excited for my lesson, and a tad nervous. But I am mostly excited to hear what he has to say, both good AND bad. I hope I can get my base of support correct and stop swinging my lower legs back over fences. I look at pics from high school and college and think WHY DID I ALLOW MYSELF to stop riding like that????? My equitation is now crap.

Comments

  1. I know exactly what you mean... balanced, on the bit, and holding herself up... I LOVE that feeling!

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