November 18, 2011

Lesson Wrap-up Fridays: Switching Gears

Nothing like starting the hour with mindblowingly difficult Dressage and ending with 2'6 oxers to make you feel like you went from math class to recess!

In both my fitness and my riding, I'm learning why I'm drawn to the sports I'm currently practicing.  In both Crossfit and eventing, there's always something new coming around the corner, always a fun activity to follow the ones that are more difficult to get through.  I love Dressage as much as I love cross-country, but for different reasons, and it feels so good to completely switch gears mid lesson.  Adagio went from slow and poky to excited and happy when we switched over, and I felt like we were two kids busting out of math class, headed for the playground.

I loooooooooove Dressage, guys.  Seriously, look it's all over my face.

I don't know if the lateral work at the trot (turns on the forehand at the trot?  Is that a thing?  That's what we did.) is more mentally difficult or physically difficult, but it's only difficult physically for me because I'm trying to force him into it rather than ask.  We had some minor successes in it, but part of the problem was his unwillingness to perform the movement and part of it was my muscle fatigue due to doing too much.  She assured me that this will take a while to get, so we drilled it for about 15-20 minutes and called it quits.  It's mental, it's physical, it's timing, it's Dressage.  It feels good to get an achievement in Dressage, but they're so few and far between.  I have to keep in mind that eleven months ago I was so screwed up, I could barely keep my stirrups through an entire lesson.  Progress comes through in the big picture.

THIS is more like it!
BUT then we moved to jumping, and both of us had a blast.  She told us we were going to go big today, and so after a brief warmup we took a 2'6 oxer as the out element of a three stride.  Woooooooooooooo!  Guys, it's not that big, but it is to someone who was afraid of a crossrail not that long ago.  I was amazed at how SMALL it felt tonight.  We just cruised over it like it wasn't even there, and it felt so smooth. 

Next thing I knew, she was raising the vertical to 2'6 and dropped the oxer to a crossrail, jumping it in reverse.  I didn't know she was raising the vertical until I was three strides out at the first element and saw her hurridly raising the jump.  And I just...did it.  No thinking, no fear, no fuss, it was just a jump.  I realize at some point I need to stop being amazed by that, but I'm going to bask in the glow of fearless jumping for a little while longer.

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