A hectic couple of weeks isn't too bad when you consider all of the riding I have been doing. Nothing blog worthy though, just dressage stuffs and who wants three blog posts over "Shoulder in, all the time" and "we are compressing the dressage canter to get Mia to tuck her pelvis", etc. Boring. Add to this the fact the indoor is SUPER dusty, outside has been SUPER cold and it gets dark at 5p, and while I have been riding, it is boring and I haven't been inspired to talk about it.
So how has our dressage been? Shoulder in, all the time, in all gaits. Mia is now doing shoulder in to the right much easier in the canter. I have worked hard at not being so grabby with the right hand (Bad hand!) and I think it is working. Shoulder in is still hard for Mia, but we are working on it every time we ride and every time it gets just a smidgen easier.
Our serpentines have become super easy now, as long as I ride it properly go figure. As soon as we pass center line and change the shoulder in direction, *boom* Mia does them easily and without falling in. Good to know, shoulder in fixes all of Mia's problems haha! Mia can go from straight, into a circle, and back again without real issues and our corners are usually superb. I really enjoy our slower tempo, though would really like a little more push. Baby steps I remind myself, baby steps.
We have done a good bit of No Stirrup November, although not exclusive No Stirrup as I was working towards my lesson (that didn't happen). The thing we have worked hardest on is canter. We have worked almost exclusively along the rail, not doing many 20m circles, to really drive home the shoulder in aspect. Mia is now doing a very clear, rhythmic 3 beat canter that is SO cool to listen to. I didn't realize she didn't do it until she started doing it. She sounds like a huge warmblood coming across the arena, with equal, heavy thud-thud-thud. Love it!
Going large in the arena is also super helpful in developing the super collected canter. We are playing with getting Mia to tuck her pelvis and really sit, I work to get the good canter and then sit up, hold into a half halt and apply lots of leg (like we are in front of a jump). Mia really sits down and lightens her front end and it is super cool. She can do it pretty well to the left and only decent to the right but it is coming right along.
What fun have we had outside of dressage? Well...not a lot. We were working hard to prepare for the lesson and I really wanted to show big progess. And then the lesson was cancelled because it was in the low teens the night of the lesson and the instructor cancelled. UGH. Oh well, maybe she will come out next month. Until then, we had some fun with a hunter pace last weekend. It was FUN! Mia hasn't been on many hunter paces, but she is finally a good trail horse so I was excited. I went with 3 others from the barn and despite it being a walk ride, it was still fun. I brought my dressage saddle as I didn't expect to be able to jump (expected objections from the others who were walking) however everyone was ok with it. In the end, 3 of the 4 of us were jumping over things! I passed over only one jump, that was 3ft, because I wasn't comfortable jumping higher in my dressage saddle. It was hard enough already haha. Everyone thought Mia was so cute jumping and they said it was very obvious Mia really enjoyed her job jumping.
She was awesome during the hunter pace and was a rockstar. She threw not a single fit, loaded right up, she jumped everything, she didn't spook, she didn't avoid water/mud and walked in the front and rear without complaint. What a huge improvement from 2 years ago <3 < 3 Nothing fun is scheduled for the rest of November, we have to travel for Thanksgiving (boo) so it is just steady building on dressage. One day at a time!