Struggling With Dressage? You’re In Good Company!

The craziest of all equestrian disciplines.

Not because of the speed, intense accident risk, or nail-biting finishes.  Just because it’s an absolutely impossible sport.  🙂  Yay, go dressage! 

No need to feel hopeless; everybody’s struggling, it’ll never be perfect, and today you get to check out some of the major issues we’ve got in our own sandbox.

So many, hard to pick just a few.

too tense trot

She still wants to be tighter throughout the back and body than she should be.  While she actually goes really well forward now, listening to the leg, and with a longer stride, it takes a lot of work to “work through” to get to where she feels at least a bit supple.

falling out on outside shoulder
Hello crooked.

Wriggling out through her outside shoulder is still a favorite.  She just sort of pushes me off my seat, yes even in posting trot, and then she’ll snake back and forth.  I have to be careful there, almost waiting a bit for her.  If I really half halt on the outside rein too much and ride forward from the leg she can just decide to shut down instead.

falling out to the outside in canter

Tons of crazy stuff going on in the canter too.  Here I’ve lost her entire left shoulder, popped up in the seat, and probably fiddled with some awkward outside leg aid to keep from scraping the wall.  Not exactly first level stuff.


overflexing on circle

And we still “skid” through voltes like this sometime.  Weighting the inside shoulder, hind end just hanging on.  Great picture to post in the privacy of the Internet 🙂

With all of this, Valiosa is still coming along really well.

In between it all, she can feel really fun.  More on that later!

12 thoughts on “Struggling With Dressage? You’re In Good Company!

    1. Sometimes things just unravel. For a few days… 😉🤤 Then it’s time to try again. It sort of helps to know that other riders have to face this stuff too 🙂
      Thank you for sharing!! 💚🌿


  1. This all sounds familiar! Plus, here in the northeast, we are also adding cold weather tightness into the mix. But, it’s all so worth it for the moments of wonder – when he’s through, pushing, and balanced. That feeling – albeit sometimes fleeting- makes me feel on top of the world!!! Yay dressage!

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    1. Yes, can imagine winters get much more electric than here 😁.
      We are in a covered, but it’s completely open walled of course, it’s California. Major blowhole in there in winter months. Little naked bellies can’t relax 🙂
      Thank you for chiming in Susan. We all appreciate those good moments so much!!


    1. Enough to drive us crazy!
      This morning, great lesson. We came to an awesome spot. She hates the short reins and will fight it endlessly, but once there, she’ll work with so much more power and comfortably, happy. So tricky to get it right! 🙄😫

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Just when everything seems to be getting better, there is always one ride (or several!) that can make it seem as if we are back where we started. I guess the saying “It’s the journey that counts, not the destination” can be fittingly applied to dressage!

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  3. What do I think? Oh, I keep forgetting that I do think…Anyhow, I think I see a rider leaning to the inside. Horse takes advantage by hanging on the inside rein. How do I know that? I’ll let Charm count the ways.

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    1. Yep, inside lean! There it is. And I think it’s spreading!!! Striving to follow more, softer, or what have you, upper body now comes even more inside than before.
      To compensate for not wanting to use the inside rein. And this works so, not, great, as we all know 😉 EEEK!


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