June 1, 2018

Lesson Wrap-Up: A Ride with CJF

I haven't posted a lot lately, partially because life's been crazy but also because I'm just getting hit over the head with second level lately.

That's a true first world problem - woe is me, riding horses is hard - so I'm not going to dwell on it, but it's definitely coloring my world right now.  I'm struggling to even put into words WHAT is so hard, because I've never been up the levels before.  But, the decision not to show this summer was a good one.  There's nothing to be gained by going out there and getting poor scores right now.

The decision to go watch Nicole compete in CrossFit Regionals last weekend, though, was a good one.

Last night I rode with CJF for the first time in maybe four years, and she gave me some really clear takeaways:
- Forward, but not too forward for his balance
- Transitions, lots of them, between gaits and in gaits*
- My position is much improved but our collective conformation (his long neck and my small person) really works against us, because the easiest thing to do is to lean back against him and pull against each other.  Same general posture, but think breastbone and hands forward.

* - She said I'm going to have to sacrifice some roundness while I develop the engine through transitions, because right now he's using his roundness against me.  He can either be round or he can sit, but he can't both be round and sit right now. 

So, we'll do that.  And we'll keep on going, and we'll see what happens.


  1. Dressage is hard, and second level is The Big One. It will come but it takes time to build the strength for both of you!

  2. I’m struggling with a lot of the same things and also I’m struggling with posting riding stuff. Glad to know I’m not alone and I agree. I’ll keep right on working as well.

  3. The struggle with being round AND sitting thing is where we're at, too. You've got this!

  4. We also dropped the roundness to develop sit. We started adding round back into the mix this year. Yes you must sit. Yes you must be on the bit. No you may not lay on me. Yes you must be on the bit. No you may not lay on me. Over and over and over. It takes a long time!