Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Your reins are too short!
Push your knuckles together!
Widen your hands!
Get your weight up out of the saddle!
DQ has been helping to drill my position. My core continues to get stronger and more stable, but when the mare drops her back, I fall forward. Every time. I noticed it. I even mentioned it to DQ. Knowing it is going to happen doesn’t do a thing for allowing me to prevent it.
We’ve been insisting on a higher level of work: sitting more for her transitions, pushing into contact, staying supple in the bridle…
Sometimes she throws this tiny hissy fit… It goes something like this:
- drop all connection and get above the bit
- oh, you’re still sending me forward? Then, I’ll just drop behind the bit!
- oh, you’re still not letting up? I’ll just throw my shoulders up in the air and make an upward transition!
When these things happen in my dressage lesson, I hear DQ’s running commentary, “Yes, that’s right. Good. You’re right, you’re right! Yes, exactly!”
Many times, I find myself praising the mare at the same time that DQ praises both of us. Nothing earth-shattering has been brought to my attention. Nothing that I should do or stop doing has been mentioned. Still, I find myself frustrated and full of doubt. I asked DQ, “Are you *sure* you don’t want to ride her?” She acquiesced.
I watched with eagle eyes as this FEI-level rider put the Psycho Mare through her paces. I studied her leg, her hand, her position… I tried to grasp her timing and feel. To my amazement, Psycho Mare gave her all of the same evasions. DQ would get her together and connected, then the mare would drop it all. What really knocked my socks off was the way that DQ was also forced forward in her position when the mare fell out from under her. All along, I was thinking that it was a personal weakness, but it really isn’t just me!!
The upshot of this marathon lesson:
Keep asking and insisting. We have raised the level of expectation, and now we must insist that she deliver. Keep asking, keep sending.