It’s actually fascinating for me that I’m delving into dressage and jumping and then I go back to western as well and ride that in between. It’s just a real eye-opener with how much dressage and cross training helps any horse across any discipline. Because yesterday, Amber was horribly downhill.
Yup. She’s usually really light on my hands, and she’s just been feeling fabulous in our short dressage rides through the week. After our western week….Eek. I could just feel her shoulders plummeting forward in the trot work, and she was back to her shorten-neck-and-give-you-super-fast-itty-bitty-strides. And she’s not heavy in my hands at all but yesterday she was just leaning and her shoulders were a bit all over the place.
Cue lesson for western: don’t let that happen next time.
She was also back to being less focused. Her mind was just a bit over the place, and she kept looking for Whisper. Although it could’ve been because Whisper thought we were out places and weren’t and didn’t even know we were in the arena.
But the funny thing was her canter was great. I mean, really great. She loped up into it like we’d been working on that for a while and she felt a little less wobbly. So in terms of me letting her rediscover her balance and letting her sore muscles work themselves out in western, it ended up working out for the canter. Go figure. But we focused more on trotting and just re-achieving that long, flowing, suspended stride. Well, long, flowing and suspended for her. It feels a bit like a hunter trot I suppose, but I can really feel her pushing and beginning to round into the bridle with a slight uphill in her shoulders.
It was a short ride, and not one of our best, but hey, work in progress right? I’m not disappointed – it’s giving me really great information to take with me when I start preparing for the all around shows these next 3 months. I also watched the first episode of Master Dressage, and tried to implement that. Well, when I was finally able to get the position right, Amber felt really great. Especially at the canter. She just rounded up for me beautifully. So of course, I’m not going to be able to hold it a long while, but I can feel when it works, so yay! Still a good ride!
Also, don’t judge my mishmash of colors. My matchy-matchy princess is already cringing.