Where to begin my catching up...
With a picture of the awesome ribbon rack my husband made for me!
The shoes are old ones that were once on Riva's feet. Hoping to add more pretty colors to it next year.
I had my first dressage lesson last Thursday evening with the BO - my new trainer. I rode a boarder's semi-retired school master for my lesson. Lovely sweet mare :)
I learned more in that lesson then all others I have ever had combined. It made a huge difference to spend the lesson focusing on me. Exactly what I needed.
I learned that I sit back too much, as in lean back. Most dressage riders have to battle the hunter position and learn to sit back. But not me - I have the opposite problem. When she finally got me sitting correctly, I felt like I was leaning forward! But a look in the mirror does not lie.
Also, I have been riding with my toes pointed out to the side. Putting my feet in the correct position, opened up my hips and helped me relax my legs. I spent a good part of my lesson closing my eyes in order to relax my body and let it go with the horse. Riding a school master put me at ease to let go...never would have worked on Riva.
The BO had me get comfortable at a nice paced swinging walk and them move up to trot. We worked on cuing with just my seat and kept the mare on the buckle. It was amazing to change her pace with just my post. I also had to work on giving with my arms/hands.
We then moved up to canter, which it what I need the most help with in regards to Riva. I have trouble keeping Riva in canter because I end up blocking her forward, because I don't have the miles to be comfortable riding the canter. I need lessons on a horse that will be a bit more forgiving and let me get my rhythm. It was exactly what I needed.
After the lesson, I felt exhilarated :)
The BO is riding my Riva tonight to start working on getting her back to being light off the aids. I can't wait to hear how it went!
I have another lesson this Friday on the school master. This is one of the advantages of taking lessons from my BO, plus she can ride and help train Riva. I know I made the right decision to make a change - I am excited and know we are heading in the right direction.