January 19, 2014

Rhythm Relaxation Connection Impulsion Straightness (but not yet Collection)

I looked out the indoor window to see that heavy snow had started falling during my lesson yesterday.  And I thought, "Damn, this lesson is so good, I won't even mind if I get stuck in a ditch on the way home."

At least SOMEONE likes the snow.

(Spoiler alert:  Didn't end up in a ditch, but it did take me an hour to get home.)

When my lesson started, I recounted the tale of my Tuesday ride, describing it basically like I did in that post.  My trainer grinned teasingly, "So you rode from your inside leg and outside rein, interesting, tell me more..."  All jokes aside, she pronounced him "So much better!" and really got after me about keeping my hands level, which helped him go even straighter/better.  Straight is the key to EVERYTHING apparently, and once again, a big breakthrough is really just me learning to ride the inside leg to the outside rein again.  That's the millionth time that's happened since I started riding Dressage - you'd think I'd learn!

Yeah, there's a reason straightness is second from the top.  I also had impulsion today, which my trainer was much delighted with.

Again I was in the jump saddle, but this time we actually jumped.  She had a 6 stride line with two parallel poles in the middle to encourage straightness, a vertical in and a vertical out, and we alternated going straight through it with halting in the middle of it, backing a couple steps, and turning out of it.  I'm finding it a lot easier to stay over my leg and be centered no matter what kind of jump he gives me, but I'm struggling to let him struggle at times.  She wants me to let him think for himself and fail so he learns to self-adjust.

For me, she wanted me to work on closing my hip angle, staying in my heels, and having a lighter seat.  I sit too deeply and sit up too straight in the jump saddle; I ride in it like I ride in my Dressage saddle, and I need to be lighter and spend more time in two point.  It's the curse of the eventer, having to fully make that switch between phases.  We worked on keeping him round and regulating his pace while I was in two point, and he was such a good boy, moving between paces like I asked.

Homework for this week is to hang out in two point a lot, and do a lot of cantering.  I'm excited about the direction things are headed right now!


  1. Lots of cantering is on our agenda too. Sounds like a great lesson! You got to love those light bulb moments.

  2. Awesome! Good lessons are always exciting! :)

  3. I'm excited too, looking forward to more progress!