Last week I joined my husband in his Tuesday morning lesson with new trainer. This is the first one I've had since Nilla went to Laura's even though she's been back for weeks. I kept missing them due to work or Nilla injuring herself.
We worked on circles and a figure eight around the arena over three sets of poles. Nilla was being great about bending and going softly. I also got a lot of compliments from new trainer on how well Nilla was going. And then I got home and looked at the pictures and realized we were regressing.
It's not that this is terrible, but it's not good. She's bracing through her neck and not going on the bit. Not all of the ride was bad. There were moments of connection. Especially over the poles.
Also, take a look at my leg. It's not in a chair seat. It's not as far back as it should be, but there is definitely improvement here.
Unfortunately, the problem I'm having is that I can't really tell when she's going on the bit and when she's not. And the trainer failed to point any of that out. I am not good at dressage. I have never claimed to be. I need help with this. Which is theoretically why I am paying a trainer to help me. I really need to find a dressage trainer in this area.
The poles got raised to small crossrails and we had some success in trotting over them.
Look how cute her knees are here. The hind end looks disorganized, but that's because she's trotting over jumps. I've never seen horses look graceful trotting over things. We need to be able to canter before she'll be able to properly arrange her legs. Honestly though, I don't really care. She's green and not balanced enough to canter yet. We really only even do any jumping because it keeps her engaged and brakes up the monotony of just trotting around endlessly.
I do need to work on my own jumping form. At least in the jump above I'm sitting back a little bit. I know what I need to do, but there's a disconnect between what I should do and the fear of bending forward that is brought on by my back injury. I am trying, but it's probably going to take me longer than it takes Nilla to get this right.
Labels: Horseback Riding Lesson, Mule Riding, Nilla