Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Did someone say contact?! let's catch up

So the light bulb went off in October and we went to our first schooling show in November.  We took the next month to muddle through the test we had to learn and getting a better feel for this contact.  We nailed our first dressage test and got a 34!  The judge was impressed with his quick progress.  We had one fault in the event derby and ended with a 69.  This was a day that I got to see the culmination of all of our work thus far and was extremely pleased.  Two greenies figuring out this incredible diverse sport.

And in the clinic we rode in December really opened my mind in Steady's dressage potential.  We got the help to take us to the next level together.  To really get a more consistent conversation and some more "language" I can use.  Alot of great mental pictures that pushed us passed where we were. 

Then winter hit and it hit hard so the next three months are easy to catch up on.  A whole lotta notta.  A ride here and there but progress was at a stand still against all my will power it just wasn't going to happen.  The last two weeks are the first semi consistent work we have had.  About 2-3 rides a week.  And oh baby it is good to be riding again but OUCH!  That semi consistent contact we were really progressing on is few and far between.  We are not starting at square 1 again but it is not what it was.  How could it be we are both out of shape.  He is stiff and low muscule tone.  The nice part is that for both of us it is still there.  It is just like a diamond in the rough and I have a feeling that when we get our way through this fitness and mental block we will come out better than when going into the winter.  That is all I can ask for, progress.  We will get our relaxed comfortable conversation back it will just take time and practice and hopefully a few lessons. 

Right now there is the bracing against the bit, stiffness, rough 20 meters(though I am not asking for many), tough time getting bending and flexion.   OHHH but I can say the only thing I can notice a positive change in is the canter!  We are far from perfect but it has come leaps and bounds.  I don't get to do much of it because of footing but yesterday I did pick up both leads for about two times around and there were some nice moments and we got both leads!!

So we are starting again and I am stoked for the year to come!  Now if only I can figure out this saddle issue.


  1. It's spring. It will come. Well done to both of you.

  2. Not getting much riding in here either. I would be happy if I could get 2 or 3 days a week at this point. Sure hope spring is coming soon.

    Don't worry about what you lost, it's just on vacation, not totally gone. Once you get the feel and the horse gets the feel it's much easier to get there the next time.

  3. You'll get back to it in no time! Getting back in shape is probably going to be the biggest factor. He can't learn new things if he's not strong enough to do it. Don't worry though. Getting back in shape will go faster than you think especially with a Thoroughbred. They seem to muscle back up faster than other horses. :)

  4. It is amazing how these wonderful Thoroughbreds can keep so fit. After my mare's 3 month downtime, just a little correct lunging and some good longer necked walks, for a couple hours each week. She has bounced back. You and Steady will too!

    Good to hear the potiential and hope and desire in your voice(through the typed words!) I have learned to relax and take the time...wish I knew that before.
    Just make things your personal best and put blinders on for the others making their own'll just frustrate you to try to keep up. You and slow and steady like your blog title!

    Saddle..oou...I have now sworn off wood trees altogether. There is a much more flexible tree going now. So many nice saddles have swiched to the better materials that give and flex with the makes them able to give you what you ask bracing/ resistance, no misbehaviour, from pain.
    I have been saving for a saddle with the newer "flex Core" materirals since last August. Somethings are worth the wait, and the bareback riding I've done for 7 months priceless lessons in balalnce.


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