Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"You're a little vague..."

"You're a little vague..."  that's what my clinician said about my riding. And Lord, don't I know it :-). After this clinic session, Bob offered the helpful perspective that this comment applies to me well beyond the riding arena. "You're a little vague," Bob says, "about a lot of things." Maybe. I can certainly see the effect of my vagueness on Riley. He's only too happy to fill the power-vaccuum I leave in my riding. This week I focused on setting a tone, duplicating some of these exercises, and had a really good ride. I am hoping to show off my newfound extreme-definitiveness to my regular instructor, and to Hank when he comes back in January.


  1. Just a thought--on the first downward transition I saw, you sat down and back. Riley lifted his head. You need to think more hip forward and down, not dropping your weight to the back of the saddle. That way, you do not land on his back encouraging him to invert and you do not actually drive him forward in the wrong way to counteract the downward--which should be kind of foward and "up in the back" as the hind end comes under.

    OK, all that being said, focus is hard in dressage, but I'd guess it's at least 50% of a successful ride. Good dressage is as much mental as physical--which is how the really competitive upper level riders are separated from the rest of us. They ride every stride at least a few strides ahead of time, planning each aid and adding those half halts, etc. almost before they are needed.

    For now, though, if you think about too many things at once, it will only put your mind in a muddle. So what you could do is focus on one correctness at a time. Your trainer was going for some of that in the lesson. Once a correct action gets to be a habit, then you can go on to the next step.

    Riley really is a sweetie. He has a good attitude and certainly reacts positively to you. And to top it all off, he does look lovely when he goes.

  2. Awesome ride! That was so much fun to watch. I look forward to re-watching and making mental notes for my own horse.

    Stacey, your canter work is really beautiful. It was very interesting and educational to watch how the trainer helped you with Riley and to hear his explanation at the end. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Beautiful work! Loved seeing his progression as you worked into the exercises. And you do canter beautifully - it's a joy to watch. Yay Riley!!

  4. Oh that was a fun ride. Reading Jean comments, I think she's right.

  5. That guy can really teach.

    There are moments in this video where Riley is really sitting down and looking awesome, especially in the final sitting trot.

    What I like best in this video is how engaged mentally Riley looks. In some videos, he seems happy but a bit zoned out...sort of in his own world. His brain and body are both engaged here...these quick transitions and lateral moves are really working to get him lighter off the aids and more mentally involved.

  6. I like the "tap,tap, ho,ho" idea. I do that, but this phrasing makes it easier to stick in my mind.

    Enjoying your blog and have shared it with friends...we esp. loved the camel dressage...TOO funny!

    Merry Chrismas from GA!

  7. I like the phrasing of "tap,tap,ho,ho" . I do this in my riding, but this phrase sticks more easily in my mind.
    Riley is a lovely horse and you're a very quiet rider.
    Enjoying your blog and have shared it with friends...we esp. loved the camel dressage!

    Merry Christmas from GA!


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