Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dressage Lesson on LuLu

While Ruby is down in Aiken for the next few months, I will be riding school horses during a weekly riding lesson. This was a Dressage week and I got to ride LuLu again! I had a half-lease on LuLu last year before I bought Ruby. During the six months that I leased LuLu, she taught me A LOT. Particularly about jumping, I feel that riding her was a big factor towards fixing my position (that and lots of lessons). I did not make as much progress in dressage with LuLu, but I would be slow to improve in that discipline no matter who I ride. LuLu is particularly tough however, she can be stiff and does not have the ideal conformation to be suited for the work. Last year I usually ended most dressage lessons pretty frustrated. Well, I end a lot of those lessons on Ruby pretty frustrated too, but with Ruby I definitely have glimpses of potential, or (if we had been working consistently) even some pretty good sessions, I never really came away from a dressage ride on LuLu feeling that way.

It was interesting however, because when I rode LuLu on Wednesday, our dressage was not ... terrible. I wondered if I was imagining it, but as the lesson progressed, it seemed to get better. I wondered if my memories were not quite accurate or something, but then, towards the end of the lesson, Ann actually confirmed it. She said that she could see a huge difference with me from the rides that I had had on LuLu (with Ann as my instructor) last year. She said that I seem to be able to ride her consistently into the contact and that she remained consistently nice and round for me. It wasn't perfect by any means and she still did her leaning thing, but apparently it was a very noticeable and notable difference. I said that I had been wondering if it was me or if they had had some better riders on her over the past months, but Ann confirmed that she thought that I had improved. Interesting to come back to a horse, and to an instructor, after many months of riding another horse and with a different trainer to see the progress. Anyway, I was pretty encouraged by the ride, perhaps I have made more progress in dressage than I thought.

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