Maintaining Training, Solo

Friday last week was the last ride of a month of continuous training.

I’ll miss it – it’s been so nice to have help and finally get a feel for how good she can really be.

schooling with trainer
Very happy with both my coach and Valiosa here.

We wrapped up what would for us normally have been some  5-8 months of training’s worth, into 1.  Very beneficial.  Worth it all the way.

Now, time to face all the things that’ll fall apart by solo training.  Half of it might happen just over the next two weeks.  🙂

schooling dressage

To make up for that a bit, I had one lesson this week, and two scheduled the week following.

After that, it will be mostly up to me to figure it out all over again, how to get her to move soft, forward, and most importantly, into the hand...

riding alone

gray horse in canter

Señora Sesame Seed, behaving.


at halt

If two is a pair, three is a party.  So fun!

Here we go – figuring out a way back to this all on our own..!

riding with eyes closed

10 thoughts on “Maintaining Training, Solo

  1. Hi Elinor,

    The month of intensive, everyday training seems to have worked out nicely. Now that you are back to solo training, it’s important to keep your momentum going forward. Also, think positively. If you think you may forget half the stuff you’ve learned in two weeks or less, you definitely will. This is where you need to trust yourself and trust Valiosa. When a practice/training session is not going well, it is not a time to say, “she’s forgotten” or “I can’t remember how to bring it back”. Valiosa has not forgotten; she is waiting on your lead. You haven’t forgotten either; it’s a matter of pushing ahead.

    Elle, no sugarcoating here … while I think you are riding well, and on the cusp of a breakthrough, moving to the next level will depend upon how much you want it. If you trained with Trish or myself here in Colorado, we would push you very hard because we know you can do the work. Your everyday off-saddle work would include a critical analysis of video and photographs. You’ll review it first, then we’ll ask you what areas you think needs to be addressed. Then, we’ll go over it together. The photos of your intensive training month shows you can do it all, and Valiosa is a fairly good dressage horse. If you worked with my sis, Elizabeth, she’s a taskmaster and a half, and probably would make you cry a bucket of tears first. She’s done that to every rider she’s mentored. Elizabeth can be absolutely brutal, finding fault with every little thing you do. After you cried that bucket, she will build you back up at a dizzying pace – “Seize those flashes where all of your talent and that of your horse shines through and make them flashes no more, but a solid ride each time, every time. You can do it because I’ve seen you do it.” She will show you where and when not to press yourself (that’s when mistakes are made). And, all the riders that she made cry, they’ve come back to be better riders, more motivated riders. Elizabeth, she’s tougher on herself than any coach/instructor can be. Though she has rode this season beautifully, Elizabeth has said she can ride much better.

    Since you largely train solo, you’ll need to become your own taskmaster. You’ve experienced the pace of everyday training work, and you have proved to yourself and Valiosa the ability to handle it. It’s not second by second all hard work. Don’t worry about making mistakes and working at a slower pace during training. It’s practice after all, and the time to make mistakes. Closer to a show, that’s when your practices should become crisper and precise.

    Remember, it’s all about best effort.

    Ride well,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is truly awesome.
      I read it the morning right before our first ride on our own. Which I was looking forward to, after this month’s training, to see where we’d be.
      But also worried.
      Of course you’re right – being one’s own master is the only way to go to become a true thinking and feeling rider. It’s an enigma there, making it even more interesting.
      Today’s ride, I read it again. After watching short clips from the morning ride. (Son finally came out.) Time to make a decision! Not get to comfortable..!


      1. The girls are away for the week for pre-enrollment tasks at medical school. Today was administrative Monday – a day of filling forms and making sure your paperwork is in order. Almost like entering a horse show. 🙂

        Deborah wanted you to know you can do the work and become a solid dressage rider. (I read your reply to her a couple times.) She wanted to give you a little push/shove to get past the “I don’t know” stage. Valiosa probably didn’t tell you she appreciated you taking the lead.

        Yes, Elizabeth is that way. A tough as nails rider, but she’s a very sweet girl. Deborah left out the part after you cry out that bucket of tears and you’re left alone for a few minutes, Elizabeth is the first one to get you back into proper frame of mind … “Let’s mount up and get to work. Let’s show everybody how good you really are.”

        Hope the smoke is staying away from your area.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Very exciting week for your girls at home – the start of what will probably be the most intense chapter for them! Fingers crossed for a fun start!
          I go back and forth with believing if I’ll ever be able to truly ride this horse. Ride her to her full potential. Ride her to where I think it, and she’s already acting on that aid…
          This morning, a run with a friend, then rushing to get everything ready for the show this afternoon. Long day 🙂 Love it!


  2. Don’t give up before you’ve started! Training alone isn’t easy but you make do with what you have.

    Do you have a video camera you can set up so you can watch back over the ride?

    I have a GoPro so the quality isn’t amazing but it lets me playback my rides and try and see what is and isn’t working.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Any video is great, isn’t it!!
      I got short clips from family today. Still a little depressing… 🤡
      The alternative to not training one our own would be to. Not train at all. So. We’ll keep going!
      Thank you for cheering on!

      Liked by 1 person

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