Rodney’s Dressage May 2017
No surprise, our second lesson built on the first one [Dressage]. We halted. We trotted a few laps. Mr. E says we would have cantered if the footing had been better. On the grand scale of things, it remains pitiful. On our personal scale, it was FANTASTIC. A few of the strides where the best dressage I’ve done. Ever.
Perhaps it is Mr. E’s approach. He doesn’t use the ‘push with the inside leg, hold the outside rein’ blather. Or perhaps I’ve never had a horse who can do what I ask. Either way, Mr. E says ‘Do X,Y,Z.’ I do. Rodney does. Cool.
Partway through the lesson, Rodney was tight? Tired? Tense? I wasn’t sure. This made me miss Previous Horse. I’ve thought of PH as my heart horse because I always knew what he was thinking [In Defense of Caesar]. Now, I’m starting to wonder. I could hear him, but he never had the slightest interest in listening to me. That’s not a communication. That’s one party being loud about what they want. Regardless, I need to put the past behind me and ride the horse I have.
I’ve spent a lot of blog time pondering how the different riding disciplines overlap [Styling]. In my last saddle seat lesson, Coach Courtney told me to set my hands. Okay, I will, but that is the Wrong Way to Ride. One should have soft, following hands that are sympathetic to the horse’s mouth. Obviously. Fast forward to dressage lesson. For trotting, Mr. E told me not to pull but not to give. Really? That sounds a lot like Set Your Hands.
Later, Mr. E wanted me to use my knees. In fact, he asked, ‘How hard can you dig your knees in?’ Well, after five years of saddle seat, pretty durn hard. We will overlook the fact that my heels shot out sideways as I did so.
On a final note, Rodney seems to really like Mr. E. With both his chaperone [It Takes A Village] and Mr. E on the sidelines, Rodney started out the ride super relaxed.
Update: further thoughts from Mr. E in comments. See “themuerdago” below.
Thank you for reading,