Walking The Tests

Training Journal

If you’re riding a horse, you’ve already won.

Rodney walks to warm up body and brain. It takes a while. Why not use the time to practice my dressage tests?

We – the barn we – used jump standards and poles to lay out a 20×40 ring. Rodney and I walked UDSF Intro A & Intro B over and over and over. He strolled. I practiced my position and worked on my geometry, while holding as little rein as possible consistent with steering. I hope to continue this exercise through the winter. It’s a good one for muddy days.

He was fine but never completely bought into the program. Either he didn’t like being in the sandbox, rudimentary as it was. Or he didn’t like being ridden for an hour. While he never exerted himself beyond a few big walks across the diagonal, he did have to move his feet or stand around with me on his back for 60+ minutes. Or because it was 39o. My feet were certainly not speaking to me by the end.

Anticipation will not be a problem. Rodney is the sort of horse who will feel more secure knowing what comes next. Doing the test again and again won’t damage our competitiveness. Will it help? We’ll see.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Categories: Dressage, Horses, Riding

2 replies »

  1. Good thinking! Nathan Hill would call it hypnotic repetition. It becomes so ingrained that it is done without thought. Be careful what you learn because it will become habit-forming but this seems to be a good one,

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