Thursday, July 12, 2007

Misery, Thy Name is "Dressage"

One of the really excellent things about eventing is that it compels you to be a "well-rounded" rider. You have to compete over three phases and each phase highlights strengths (or weaknesses) in your training program. The three phases are:

  • Dressage - Emphasizes submission, knowledge, and precision
  • Speed and Endurance (Cross Country) - Emphasizes fitness and bravery
  • Arena Show Jumping - Emphasizes power and accuracy
To Brego, nothing beats a good short gallop down a field over a little log. He loves Speed and Endurance (although he's pretty shake\y on the endurance part these days... fatty!). The Show Jumping is coming along nicely, he is working on being precise and grids are helping him learn his feet. His biggest weakness, however, is Dressage.

It's not really his fault. In all my years of Hunters-dom, I never took a single Dressage lesson, not even for cross training. I am an average rider, not exceptional, so the control of my seat, hands, and legs is a work in progress. And, last but certainly not least, Brego has an unfortunately large head. That noggin must weigh a quarter of his total weight, dragging his forehand ever downward, defying any attempts to balance him up and back.

Dressage, for us, is a work in progress. I am arranging to have my first ever lesson with a wonderful dressage trainer in the next couple of weeks. Hopefully, she will steer us down the road to more balance, grace, and responsiveness.

In the meantime, I need to work on my salute!

(More photos here

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