Pre-Flight Check, Dressage at Full Circle Horse Park, March 2019
As I suspected [Roll Call], the two-n version of Milton won’t wash. It failed first time out of the box. Despite my careful printing of 2 Ns on the entry form, he ended up as Milton-one-N at the show. I could pursue this, but I would have to constantly correct over-worked show secretaries and hound under-appreciated volunteer association points keepers. I would make a pain of myself and would still end up with my horse filed in different bins. Not worth it.
Back to the drawing board.
Delving For My Inner Dressage Diva
The weekend before the show, we had a dressage run-through at Falcon Hill Farm, the place I take jumping lessons. We dragged poles off the jumps to sketch out a ring and pressed Coach Molly into service as dressage trainer for a day.
I had two main take-aways:
1) Leg ooonn and oooofff, rather than on/off, on/off, on/off, like a demented sewing machine.
2) It is a schooling show. If Milton shuts me out & plods around the ring as he did before [For This I Cleaned My Tack?], DO something. It is better to have an error of action that one of inaction.
So, demanding but sensitive. No problem.
‘In the working walk, part of the energy goes up.’ Ooh, ooh I know how to do that. ASBs are all about energy up rather than forward.
‘Short reins win tests.’ My plan is to have short reins even if there is no horse at the other end.
Plus the dressage basics, go forward, do the geometry, and so on.
I am starting to realize that Milton has the sense of fairness that Previous Horse did. I can ask, but need to respect the effort he gives, no matter how small. I can reprimand, but only if it is justified. If I do it wrong, he will let me know.
For example, we all ran out of interest in dressage before we ran out of lesson, so we practiced our canter transitions. I made a complete, monstrous hash out of the first one. I had a brain fade over which aids to use. When finally we got the canter, Milton gave a small proto-hop with his shoulders and then went off to do lovely lap around the entire, large ring.
Horse: I would be within my rights to file an objection. You rode horribly.
Me: You are not wrong.
Tomorrow, the Walk-Trot Dynamic Duo returns to the show ring.
Thank you for reading,