31 Dec

Anybody Else a Type A Rider?

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.

27 Dec

Jumpstarting Dressage Blog

I decided sometime last year after I came across Karen’s blog Bakersfield Dressage that I would start yet another blog on another topic.  I’m probably nuts for adding yet another blog to try to take care of but this one is going to be more a diary of my journey.  I will hopefully be as devoted as Karen is to posting content but that is never a guarantee with my job, my side work and all the other stuff that goes on in my life.

To start off, I have been taking dressage lessons for the last year.  It’s been a journey that I had decided several years ago that I would take. It just took a while to get there and get the process started.  I started off looking for a horse that I thought I could use for dressage.

Coco when I bought her from Linda.
Coco when I bought her from Linda.

I found Coco, a grey breeding stock APHA mare. She was 4 when I bought her for this purpose. Things don’t always work the way you want them to work. I had my daughter riding my 4 year old quarter horse Lilo when I got to work on Coco. Lilo was not the horse for a 12 year old. She took advantage of my daughter at every opportunity. So in due course, a switch was made.  Coco became my daughter’s horse and my dressage dreams got put on the back burner.  Coco took my daughter through 4H, show jumping, hunters and even barrel racing.  It was a lot of fun until it ended.  My daughter is now grown up and has her own little girl ( a baby who will in the future be riding Coco).  Last year I decided that my dressage dreams were back on and Coco advanced to dressage horse in my string of 2 horses.  The featured image is Coco when she was 4 right before we bought her from Linda her previous owner.  THANKS LINDA!!! COCO IS A TREASURE!

And so, for the last year I’ve been taking lessons from my very awesome trainer Debbie.  I’ll get a picture up soon as I put some plugins into WordPress.