Posted by: forgingahead | June 17, 2010

A Perfect Dressage Moment

We have a visitor at our barn – a fancy dressage trainer from Germany. I was lucky enough to be able to take a lesson from her last weekend.

Now, what with having an injured horse for months, and business being over the top busy and these wee triathlons I keep signing up for I simply have not had (or made) time for lessons.

And what with that pesky rain we’ve been having forever that keeps closing the arenas and all of the above, I’m only actually sitting on Now Voyager two or three times a week. If I’m lucky.

Let me tell you, that is NOT enough riding to stay in shape, let alone improve. So I was slightly nervous about how the horse and I would perform.

I didn’t want to be a whiner who starts out a lesson listing all the reasons I wouldn’t be riding like Lisa Wilcox (as if – in my dreams). So I simply outlined what I thought were my weaknesses and where I’d like to improve.

We started to trot and after a few minutes Caisha stopped us and showed me how to use my leg to ask for more forward. Then she stopped us again and showed me how to hold my back straight but not stiff to keep NV stepping under himself. She stopped us a third time to explain that I was holding my hand too loose and forward and that to really ask him to flex I needed to be stable but not stiff.

Don’t you just love how riding is one oxymoron after another? I do.

Well, we practiced and she shouted encouragement and corrections. And I’ll be darned. Now Voyager started taking these amazingly big steps combined with lovely collection and flexion! Success!

We moved onto canter and Caisha said, “what is this, grandma riding grandpa?” Apparently we were moving a little slow motion for her taste. She made several adjustments again and by the end of the lesson I felt that magic (and for me elusive) moment of dressage magic.

This is what makes me keep coming back for more! I love my horse.



  1. I don’t really know what you are describing, but it does sound like magic. That is great!!

  2. The difficult thing for me would be remember all the tips. You are younger, so probably taking mental notes is all you need. I want to see the magic you are describing next time I come for a visit. So get ready!

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