Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lesson with Katy: 4

Sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards.  Go slow to go fast.  Take as much time as it takes.  Have a solid base.  Dressage is about training for fitness, flexibility and strength.  It isn't about tricks.

Sigh. Tricks are so much easier.

We worked on my position.  If my hands drop, Winston's head goes up.  He's going to keep me honest.

We worked on Winston's work ethic (he needs one).

We worked on getting bend from JUST my leg.  If I opened my inside rein but my leg said bend (don't turn), Winston had to learn to step under with the inside hind and travel straight in shoulder-fore.

Winston thought inside leg meant go faster.  He tried to understand and he got there.

Our big accomplishment for the day.

We used a pattern set up with cones.  Two cones made a narrow gate at either end of the court.   A cone at X marked the width of 10m circle.  Starting at B, trot to the corner and make a 10m circle, coming through the narrow gate, using just your leg to get bend and steering.  Go on a diagonal back to B and then make a transition down to walk just before B and make a 10m circle around the cone at X.  Back at B, pick up the trot and go through the gate at C, back to B, walk, circle.  Change direction.  You can also do the exercise at canter to trot.  We weren't successful there.  Winston was too worried about the 10m turns at canter and couldn't think about bend at the same time.  So, we went back to trot-walk.

To transition from trot to walk, slow your posting and then sink into your seat and through your knees.  If you have ever water skiied, it's the same feeling as when you let go of the rope and sink into the water.

Brett and Mufasa worked on similar concepts.

Mufasa needs to relax and release his poll so he can work across his back and from behind.

They got a release and then did a turn on the forehand.

Katy set up cones to make a square and they did a turn at each corner.

Mufasa was getting it by the end.  The inside rein is open but it is loose.  Giving space, not pulling.


  1. "Tricks are so much easier"
    I couldn't agree more!

  2. Your instructor seems very good, and how fine that she can come to your place! Nice to have the pics, too - I have no photographer . . .

  3. Enjoyed seeing part of your lessons, brought me back to my dressage days. I do miss the discipline.
    Ironic too as I just had my dressage boots on with my Halloween costume the other day for Halloween they worked well with the costume and black cape I was wearing !

  4. I love this series of photos and descriptions of the dressage lesson.

  5. I get the feeling that the horses know she is there to teach them as well. Nice photos. I like how you can tell what season it is just by the light.

  6. Love the pictures :) Sounds like you have a very good instructor.


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