Friday, November 19, 2010

Sitting Trot!

Another dressage lesson last night, another fantabulous ride. We spent most of the 45-minute ride in sitting trot, and it didn't feel difficult at all! It's amazing how much easier it is to ride the sitting trot when the horse is properly carrying itself and lifting its back. I felt like I was able to ride normally and focus on things like McKinna's quality of trot and suppleness, rather than "Must stay in saddle, ow, my abs, ow ow ow my thighs!"

McKinna's level of fitness is really impressing me. Her ability to go through a solid workout, maintaining her roundness and power, has drastically improved. She felt as strong at the end of our ride as she did at the beginning. She's also started developing some new gears - at the trot, she was really reaching out and pushing from her hind end at times. Whenever I rode a line, she stayed straight between my reins, stretched over her topline and reached into the bit, and just motored herself right along. Such a beautiful feeling.

The silly girl was actually quite hot last night - for her. Meaning that she actually spooked! It was ridiculous. She saw the dogs in the corner and proceeded to go sideways for several steps and cut the corner. That was about it, but still funny considering how quiet she usually is. The hotness came through in our canter work too. It was fast a lot of the time, but a different kind of fast than the unbalanced must-rush style she used to have. It felt more forward in the right way, with more step underneath herself.

Leslie had me really focusing on the soften AFTER my half-halts and reminded me to relax my arms and relax my core. It made a big difference. I have a tendency to ask McKinna to supple and then keep asking until she gives all the way - I want immediate results. This ends up with me kind of hanging on her face, and her either bracing against me or ducking to get away. If I ask (firmly, if necessary) and then SOFTEN, I allow her the space to come to me. This, Leslie says, will need to happen pretty regularly but what we're doing is teaching her to carry herself. Over time, I get to stay soft for longer stretches while McKinna carries herself and holds a light contact with me.

It was awesome. Really. I'm sure you guys get sick of me gushing about dressage, but hot damn, this stuff is great! I was having so much fun that after the lesson ended, I had to go trot around a little more and do one more canter just to absorb the wonderful feeling.

I kind of wanted to go out tonight just to say hi and love on her, but I have a lot of schoolwork to do - just finished week 8, so finals are in 2 weeks - and we'll be busy all day tomorrow at the clinic, so my homework time this weekend is going to be limited. So, I'm at home working on busting out assignments. I'm sure McKinna enjoyed her day of hanging out in the pasture in her cozy blanket and stuffing her face with nice hay. Tomorrow, we work! Gridwork is the theme of the clinic, and it should be a good fun experience for both of us.

Hope everyone else is having a good week with their ponies, and McKinna says to tell you that a few sugar cubes go a LONG way!


Promise said...

Sounds completely amazing! Keep it up - it can only get better!!

I am, unfortunately, insanely jealous right now! I am seriously missing riding, and would settle for just being able to hop on Miss Promise and walk on a loose rein. :)

PS Good luck on finals!

manymisadventures said...

This is my favorite part of dressage. Slowly and steadily building the progress!

Sorry to see that you're not able to ride...I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that the stifle injection really kicks in and makes things better.

Related Posts with Thumbnails