Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Dressage Night

It's nights like these that I am thankful that I've signed on for two riding training sessions a week, because if I was scheduled for a "free" ride (no training, just a ride on my own) I'm sure that there is no way on Earth that I would have gone tonight. It was about ten degrees and dropping fast, no way I wanted to schlepp down to the cold barn, drag the poor horse out of her stall, go through everything to groom and tack up and then ride in an ice cold arena if I didn't have to. No way, no how. But I did have a training session scheduled (and paid for) so I did manage to drag myself down to the cold barn and deal with all the frigidness. And I was glad that I did (as I knew I would be). Of course the irony is that we each had to complete a dressage test -- I thought that I had dodged the dressage bullet by not attending the dressage clinic and critic ride hosted by the barn this past weekend. But no, Alison had other plans. Curses. Well, Lulu and I did okay, I think. Not fantastic, but not terrible. Most importantly, we got the left lead canter on the first try (something that we struggle with). Most of our transitions were pretty good, except that we did break one canter too early. We probably didn't bend into our corners or around the circles enough, I'm sure our circles were misshapen and wobbly and I know that our diagonals weren't very straight, but she was listening to me, listening to my aids and was mostly on the bit and pretty much as round as she gets. And I'm very, very happy about her trot to canter transitions (we've been working on that).

Anyway, I have to stop being such a baby about the stuff that I'm so afraid that I'm going to suck at. I mean, what am I so afraid of, that someone is going to laugh at me? Actually, I think what I'm most worried about is my own disappointment with myself. I can be so hard on myself, I have to learn to relax a little bit, go with the flow, live a little and not be so afraid to make mistakes.

Alison leaves for South Carolina on Friday. I'll see her in March when I go down for the Adult Camp. But otherwise I won't be riding with her until she comes back to New Hampshire sometime in April. In the meantime I'll be riding with a couple of the other trainers at the barn. I'm going to miss Alison, but now I have motivation to work really hard and improve (as well as improving my overall fitness and, hopefully, losing weight) so that she can be really impressed with my progress when she comes back.

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