This past weekend I hauled him out for a dressage clinic. He hadn’t been hauled off property (other then to the vet 🙄) since Rebecca Farms in July so I had no idea how he would be. Plus we were riding with someone new to both of us. It could have been entertaining!
He is a really solid traveler but is always a handful to deal with on the ground in the riding areas. As we entered this gorgeous arena he promptly stood on his back legs to let everyone know he had arrived. Because there was a lesson going on I decided just to walk him in hand so I didn’t disturb them any further. He spent a good 5-10 minutes going between walking normally to rearing then running backwards. I’m pretty sure the spectators (although they all thought he was gorgeous) and the clinician thought I was crazy. Once the other lesson finished I hopped on and walked him on the buckle. The clinician said “you’re an eventer aren’t you” 😂
Once on him he settled right into work and we had a fantastic lesson! Thankfully I know him really well so I knew he would settle down once I was on him. She told me that I was spot on with what we need to work on as far as getting him more supple in his body and getting him to take bigger steps. We went to work doing a 4 loop serpentine with 10 meter circles every time we hit the wall. From there we progressed to nose to wall leg yields (and doing transitions with in those), leg yields, and going from shoulder in to renvers at the walk and trot.
What I really appreciated about her was that she would have us do a task and whether or not he did it well we would go right back onto a 20 meter trot circle to put the pieces back together and then go try again. He seemed to really respond well and we didn’t rattle his brain at all. By the end his connection was much stronger and his stride length had increased significantly. She had really nice things to say about him and I think he pleasantly surprised her after his terrible first impression while entering the arena.
There was a videographer there and since I don’t have any flat video since Rebecca I got it taped. Definitely glad I did!
We are headed to the indoor trail course this weekend and have our normally dressage trainer lesson the following weekend. Looking forward to an educational winter!