That basically sums up my lesson tonight. Im definitely feeling the whole "most tears are shed at 2nd level". Well without the tears though because I dont cry (like really though. I could count the times I have cried in the last 3 years on one hand probably!), just the frustration.
You have the moments where you feel like everything is in place and you can really feel a difference and then it is followed by 10 other moments where you feel like you cant do a simple movement. Then you have a horse that is so willing and honest to ride that he tells on you to your trainer the whole ride haha! One of my bad habits is that I tend to hang on his mouth with my left rein whether I think I am or not. When she would tell me to give it up completely I could feel his whole body change to where he is carrying himself, but giving that rein up is really hard! One thing I have noticed recently is that our canter to trot transitions have gone to crap. Tonight we worked on them and I really got to feel what I am doing to keep him from giving it to me. I try to hold him with the inside rein too much and dont have him straight enough so instead of stepping into the trot he stops with both hinds at the same time before going into the trot. Working on that was really hard for me! For some reason I couldnt figure out how to half halt with my outside rein, give up my inside rein, and use my inside leg all at the same time! But by the end we started putting some better ones together. Now just to keep practicing the way we learned tonight to keep improving them!
Dressage takes serious brain power and coordination! You have to be able to fix one thing while maintaining another. Once you get one thing you lose another. It is not for the faint of heart thats for sure. But it just keeps sucking you in! All those little frustrating moments are all worth it when you end up with the correct work (instead of taking short cuts and not doing correct work but thinking you are) and the amazing feeling of you and your horse really moving together! Next week he gets some saddle time with Teacher Mary :)