Thursday, May 19, 2016

And then there was a lesson

More stuff to talk about, really?  YES!  I know right?  I went a year that, thanks to the move, I had almost nothing horse related to talk about.  Now?  I am back to plenty of things but not enough time to write it down.  Ah #workingpersonequestrianproblems.  After our awesome xc schooling, I had a lesson scheduled for Sunday.  It was our first dressage lesson in about a year, thanks to that pesky lack of funds thing.  (Who knew relocating and 2 mortgages made finances hard?  jk, it be hard)  Overall?  Pretty good lesson.  It was a very expensive lesson, the most I have ever paid for a lesson AND it was only a 45 min lesson, but it was good.  And the only dressage instructor who makes trips to the barn.  Ugh.  Great barn, great people, but really?  You don't have more than one person for any one thing?  I don't want to be "that" person, the only one who uses someone else....but....

I started out the lesson with a brief synopsis of what we do and where we are.  I got Mia 2.5 years ago when she was only hillbilly trail broke, restarted her from the ground up, pretty willing but opinionated mare, finally went BN last year, hoping to go N this year, etc.  I told her that I liked being micromanaged as I think it gives me the best snapshot of what I need to fix, especially since I don't get lessons regularly.

Mia was doing really well in warmup, she was fairly soft and moving along well.  When we started trotting, the instructor liked us but was immediately able to see my weakness, my bum leg.  Stupid leg.  It has had 3 knee surgeries and my body protects it even when I don't think I am.  This means not as much weight on it and it doesn't activate as much as I think it does.  Story of my life lol.

The summary, as I am not going to be able to make this into a long, winding story.  SLOW DOWN. She is a big metronome user and said we need to slow it down.  Mia wants to go fast and I am enabling her to go fast.  Apparently it is a very common problem with eventers LOL!  As a result, Mia is fairly flat without a lot of hock motion and power.  She won't be able to have lift and reach in her legs if she is spending all of her time moving her legs forward as fast as she can.  Huh.  Never had it explained like that.  That makes a lot of fricken sense.  We are powering along at approximately 170-180 bpm and she wants us closer to 140 bpm.  She originally set the metronome at 129 bpm so I can aim to be behind the tempo. OMG people, that is SO HARD.  SO SO HARD.  So ridiculously easy to try, so, so hard to actually do.  Once we got the tempo slowed way down, we were able to get Mia to push a bit more and she did feel more "up" and definitely had more power.  Whodathunk?!

With this slower tempo, Mia's canter transitions were not nearly as crisp.  She is having to pick us both up in order to canter instead of using speed to push us along.  It is something I will play with this week, but not too much as I don't want to be changing it up a whole bunch before the show.  The plus side?  No cross cantering!  Woohoo!

We also determined I collapse my ribcage on my right thanks to my bum leg.  So even if I feel I am leaning over to the left, I am almost always upright and straight.  #brokenpeopleproblems.  Lastly, I am a little too grabby with my right hand.  Almost everyone has a grabby hand and mine is my right.  Always something to work towards.

Overall she seemed to like us and spent very little time critizing or micromanaging me.  I am always afraid that I am not hearing corrections because I have a poor trainer instead of thinking that maybe it is because there isn't much to correct.  In looking at my recent pictures, I am for once actually inclined to think MAYBE, this time, it is because there isn't much to correct?  Here's to hoping anyway, less than a week till our first show!


  1. Sounds like a solid lesson! Exciting about the show coming up too!!!!!

  2. I have heard the 'slow down' thing so many times in the past few is REALLY hard but effective.
    Also, I wouldn't like an instructor who, on the first time out, picked you to pieces. I like her approach of giving you some positives to work on.