Saturday, August 12, 2017


So, drowned my first iPhone after about two months of having it. Only my second fastest time killing a phone. With it went a decent amount of media (and also my sanity for a day & a half since most of the people I need to communicate with do so through text).

Trainer had to cancel last week's lesson, so I ended up having two this week on Roman. At the end of my lesson on Tuesday, I let her know that I planned on doing the show this weekend, which I thought she knew, but apparently she didn't. Many emails later, my (very) late entry was in. Bless show staff.

They dealt with me at this stage and continue to deal with me
Roman has just been his normal self lately. It's really the same update as usual: softness is getting more consistent, pace is getting more consistent, less bracing, less curling, better canter transitions, less sticky.

The canter transition is the most frustrating part because the quality of his canter is getting disgustingly good. The quality of my canter position actually took a huge step up this week on both horses. But holding myself together through the transition is difficult, and I think it's because of my mindset when it comes to cantering. Part of it is leftover fear; I'm afraid to canter thus the whole process is me trying to get through it as quickly as possible without even thinking of trying to make it look nice.

Exhibit A: Bad position means bad transition
Second part has to do with how Baby/most stock horses are trained. Canter transitions are prompt, and I know this may seem like the most obvious thing in the world because almost every discipline calls for prompt canter transitions. It's quite a bit more strict and timely when it comes to stock horses, and Baby was a horse that was always timely no matter how trash I was. Rarely did I have to deal with the whole fast trot/might canter/might not canter/probably will get the wrong lead thing because I was blessed with a horse that was beyond perfect and incredibly reliable. So, however long later, I'm still expecting every horse to be trained like a stock horse with the mind of a complete baby sitter and just step into the canter. In summary, I'm lazy. Just a matter of getting in the right mind, setting the boys up well, and putting myself in the right place to get a good canter. Doesn't have to be prompt right now.

In addition to the regular serpentines and diagonals, Miss El also had me do a modified serpentine exercise where I would walk to cross center line but have a really forward trot for the rest of the arc. The goal was to keep him soft through the down transition but not so dead that he couldn't hop back into a solid trot. We also tried a moderate spiral starting on a 20m circle in the center and circling to 10m across two circles. Goal was to encourage a true bend - stretching of the outside muscles and a lift in the inside hind - rather than him just curling away from contact.

Lastly, to add to our warm up, she had me trot him on a dropped rein while standing in my stirrups and doing one of my arm stretches. Best. Day. Ever. It was soooo much fun. Our ring is just a big field with letters and a plowed area for the Dressage ring then the rest is just grass. Roman trot everywhere with his little brain trying to process it all, and it was hilarious and surprisingly easy. No lie, I highly recommend this exercise. Zero hesitation.


  1. I had a clinic where we did something similar, it was interesting!


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