Today was not a good day to go ride my horse. I had a temporary crown put on my tooth which has of course this evening popped off. It’ll have to be recemented onto the tooth. And of course the weather just sucked today. Threatening to snow all day and the brutal winds going through my clothes just stopped me in my tracks.
So I was going through the 101 Dressage Exercises book. It’s actually a second copy because I gave my first copy to my dressage trainer. Low and behold the Needlepoint exercise popped up when I let the book fall open. It’s an exercise that my trainer actually changed for Coco and I to practice.
In the book the Needlepoint is performed at one end of the arena. On both sides you do a teardrop and then a 15 meter circle at C. My trainer changed the teardrops to full circles and the circle at C into a stretchy circle. We’ve even gone past that and turned it into a canter circle. It has a lot of transitions between sitting trot, rising trot/stretchy trot and of course the canter.
I don’t know how many of you out there are this anal retentive about everything. It took me a very long time to do a lot of trot to canter transitions of any sort for my trainer. Coco started off with kicking at my legs Yes, the mare that cantered and jumped and barrel raced did not want to canter depart for me in a timely balanced manner. I remember getting so frustrated with her. After chiropractic work, I just kept repeating it until she actually started doing what I wanted without an argument.
There is still one spot in the arena where she will occasionally have a hissy fit. A few tries and my trainer made a change to an exercise. We came to the conclusion that she feels fenced in and gets defensive about it. So that is a work in progress.
I find that I need to be a little careful because I have a tendency to practice things over and over and over. It’s not really a great feeling realizing that you need to count the number of times you do something and stop when things go right. I’ve trained myself to do something as correctly as I can then move on when there is any kind of improvement. I think Coco is much happier with that type of work.