|Who needs contact? This guy. Also, at this time (Feb 2012) he needed ulcer treatment and a lot of calories. Sheesh.|
|Still miss this mare. She was incredible.|
Then a few years later, I boarded at a dressage barn for a year. Maybe I should capitalize that. A Dressage Barn. Even though it wasn't technically dedicated to any specific discipline, it was clear who ran this place. The riders bitched about the jumps, the low quality horses (you know, anything not an imported warmblood), and pretty much everything else that separated Us from Them.
When I overheard an argument that started about whose husband made more money and ended with whose Porsche Boxster was fancier, I understood what the term Dressage Queen meant. I didn't even know people like that really existed. I didn't even know what a Boxster was. It still looks like a typo.
Anyways, all that background is to point out how amazing it is that I now really enjoy dressage lessons. This is fully due to my awesome trainer's efforts and a horse whose default way of moving I affectionately refer to as "The Giraffe"
|One of our first rides, and this was actually a low headset for him at the time. My lack of dressage acumen (and sore need for dressage lessons) is painfully obvious|
We spent the early part of the lesson getting him rocked back and off his forehand with lots of transitions. Getting heavy in front is his newest evasion (previous evasions included head flipping and curling) and quite possibly my least favorite. But hopefully we are nipping it in the bud, as it didn't take long to get him in balance.
|Fawkes saying "I won't" May 2013.|
Did I mention Fawkes harbors a lot of resentment for our dressage trainer? Things like this are why.
So we have introduced the concept of me requesting a change. This is hard for me as well since it requires being in balance and I am naturally happily crooked. But damn if we didn't get 4 (four!) changes out of 5 yesterday that were when asked or within a stride. On that note, I got off him and took him to his dinner. Good pony.
He rewarded me today by biting me in the shoulder blade while I was tightening his girth. Ingrate.
One coming to jesus conversation later, I had an obedient horse again and we had a short ride where we mostly focused on stretching down into the contact. Giraffe-y/periscope-y/sight seeing type horses apparently object to stretching and dropping their heads but he was pretty good about it. J didn't get any really good stretchy shots, but I swear it happened.
|Yay a picture from today. Trying to encourage the stretch. It is a work in progress. Like everything about us.|
Overall a very successful weekend. Might be a couple days until I can get to the barn again but I have a tentative lesson scheduled with the new jump trainer Wednesday night so that should be interesting!