When You’re Sure This Is NOT How It’s Supposed To Feel

But it still looks just about right…

It’s so confusing, isn’t it?

warm up walk dressage
Walk warmup

Our rides lately haven’t felt at all like I would want them to.  Way too much “stuff” going on.  Way too little “other stuff” going on.

Posting lightly, driving forward, trying not to nag, staying in balance, keeping a light bend to the inside without over bending, not fighting, thinking forward and rewarding the effort when it comes – it still doesn’t feel like it has paid off.

tense in the neck and behind the legLast show at Training Level got some really nice scores.  But the feeling during schooling rides at home is, well, less than sublime.

And then, got these pictures of a ride last week, and she looks good!  In many of them, Valiosa definitely looks like she has improved a lot.  A ton!  And there’s new muscle.  This is SO nice to see!

building muscle on the neck on dressage horse

training level mare schooling in arena

young mare schooling training level dressageI’m still not convinced about the feeling.  We still have to feel so complicated? Really?!?

So.  If you’re sitting at home, deflated and feeling like you’re working way too hard with everything around your barn time, your horse, and your riding.  You’re not alone.

grey mare in posting trot
Favorite pic this time. Go grey mare!

8 thoughts on “When You’re Sure This Is NOT How It’s Supposed To Feel

  1. The photos from this practice session shows both your improvement and of Miss Valiosa. What you may want to try is to reduce your level of concentration and thinking it through. If you’re comfortable, just ride it through sort of instinctively – let the ride flow. If possible, get some pics for a comparison. It’ll give you some reference points to draw upon, and whether you need to make minor adjustments. The last thing you want to do is confuse your horse in the practice sessions closer to a show.

    Remember, keep your riding easy and smooth.

    Ride well,
    Deborah

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    1. Especially like the last words there,
      Keeping it easy and smooth.
      Very difficult, but exactly what we all strive for!
      Ugh, and yes, just having the ride flow would be the greatest gift right now 🙂
      I’ll keep struggling with it until it clicks one day!

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  2. Sometimes I have difficulty seeing a horse “over its back”, but those pics look great to me. I love how the top of her neck is engaged while the bottom is so soft. And how articulate the hocks are, and how far she steps forward with them. Just gorgeous!
    Come over and teach me and my horse!

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  3. Just be happy you have a wonderful gray mare and were not riding Ms Sassypants this past weekend. We managed to preserve our perennial spot as last, or second to last, in each of our individual classes. On top of that, she managed to screw up the quadrille, giving us our second lowest score in our three years of quadrille. I told her to go chew on her tail for a few days. Not riding again till this evening. Oh, you wanted to know what the issues were? Hyper-alertness on her part. When there’s nothing more I can do to get her attention focused on me instead of every single person, horse, dog, or insect which comes into her field of vision, she just decides she’s going to do everything her way. Which is not very pretty. But since we have no deadline, there’s always another day…

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    1. Oh Alli, I feel your pain in this. And as always, I can’t help but laugh when I read your comments. Although I know you weren’t laughing after all that for sure 😉
      Nothing like a little horsey to make us feel really humble. (Um, yeah, low point of the show, anyone, in July…)
      Well, perhaps she’s watching you for you – you know, for insects, or whatever 🙂
      How can these animals possibly be so different!!!? It’s mind boggling. Either too dull, or crazy alert to where the gravel touching the plastic rail as they trot by is going to be scary…
      Next time Alli! You’ll both shine 🙂
      (And thank goodness we get to keep being our horsey’s friends and actually get a next time.)

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  4. Bleh – that’s exactly where I’m at right now. I’m mired in existential details and I don’t feel like I’m going anywhere… but the horses keep scoring better and the photos don’t make me look like a monkey so I guess we’ll see.

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    1. Yeah, it’s confusing.
      Other times, definitely not on this horse, things feel sort of OK, and then BAM , pictures are so depressing it’s time to hide under a rock.
      For now, I know for sure we’re not “correct “. It’ll be up to me to figure out how to get a natural flow…

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