Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dressage Lesson 10

We were very crafty and got up early to take a dressage lesson from our neighbor/trainer before the rain started again. I was concerned that Brego would be tired or sore from our gallop ride yesterday. Instead, it seems to have stretched him out because he was very forward (for him) and relaxed today.

So today we worked on introducing long and low, the hint of suspension (still a far off dream) and canter transitions. We have a little Arabian dressage show in a little over a week, so I wanted to try to refine some of our transitions. Brego did very, very well and seemed eager to stretch and work through his back.

A note on the video: My reins are too long. Period. I have no idea why my trainer did not scream her bloody head off at me. What the hell have I been doing to get this nasty habit? She mentioned they were long, but didn't correct me until I got them under control. I completely need to fix this. Secondly, my equitation is horrendous. Whenever you start to wince watching me ride, just focus on my big, beautiful horse doing everything right, ponder for a moment how such, er, unusual riding can warrant such an amazing result, and then vow to never ride like me. mkay?

The video is published without sound intentionally because the cinematographer and my neighbor's husband were having a delightful conversation on how to trap the fox eating my chickens and I did not deem it horse-appropriate. My apologies.

Those who suffer through the whole video will be treated to a delightful walk-canter transition, completely unintentional. I was asking for a shoulder in. Or at least, I thought I was. I am sure I asked for the canter and Brego, being the very intelligent and sensitive animal he is, transitioned nicer than I ever get when I think I am asking for it. That's horses for you. It just tells me I am off balance when I really ask for it, perhaps throwing myself at him or dropping my left shoulder.

Dressage Lesson 10 from Eventing Percheron on Vimeo.

Despite the slow summer and wet conditions, I am very pleased with the progress Brego is making this summer. This is just more foundation building up to our show season next year.


Marissa said...

I didn't wince once! I think you guys looked great!

EvenSong said...

It's hard to say, watching dark reins against a dark horse, in the dark-ish forest setting, but I didn't think your reins were all *that* long. I'd rather see the Big B. working that nicely on a long-ish rein, than see him cranked to his chest and fighting all the way...

jill said...

I love when people post video on their progress. My horse and I have been working on transitions of late. Have to admit, your horse is so nice, I really didn't pay too much attention to the riding :)

Susan and Becca the Percheron said...

I think your dressage is much improved actually!
Some helpful suggestions...
1) More half halts on the outside rein (about every 5 strides) to get him collected and on the bit.
2) Steady low hands, with solid, steady contact on the outside rein, steady with elastic give and take on the inside.
3). Lots of leg! Inside leg to ask for the bend and outside leg to keep him straight behind.
4) Sit back. My instructor gave me the hint of sitting on my back pockets at times and using your core abdominal muscles to drive him forward.
5) Some lateral work also helps to solidify the aids, the bend and flexion...shoulder-ins, shoulder for, using the quarterline to do these exercises. Start at the walk and progress to doing these at the trot.

I'm taking dressage lessons on my 16.3h, 1400 lb. Percheron (having ridden TBs most of my life)also, and it's a different ride to be sure (although the basics stay the same, the aids may need to be stronger at times to get the desired effect).

But seriously! He looks better than he did at your last show...great job!

HorseOfCourse said...

If you are working on long and low, I'd say your reins are quite right. It looks good!
But I wonder how is your contact on the outer rein going left?

Andrea said...

I didn't think your reins were too long either, I thought he looked nice and stretchy. Better a tad too long than a tad too short any day! Fab walk-canter by the way!

JeniQ said...

Watching you gives me confidence that my perch/belgian mare Rosie will be doing more than trails and hacking around the yard!