I'm thankful for so many things this year. My family, my boyfriend :), my health, my job even though it's driving me crazy, the phone interview I have set up on Monday for a new hopefully better job haha, but one of the things that I'm especially thankful for is my incredible pony. She's been my partner through a job change, a break up, two different apartments, and an insanely horrible instructor. She's always been there for me as one of the constantly awesome parts of my life.
Finally I'm thankful for Youtube. Yes you heard that right. I'm so thankful for the free information that we have available to us. It's saving me riding wise right now since I took October off of lessons and probably won't take lessons through the rest of December either. I know that I need expert advice but between my budget and the move to a new barn it's just not going to happen for a bit. So I went to Youtube.
For anyone looking for some good instructional classical dressage videos I HIGHLY recommend ArtToRide.
My Blogger app won't let me post the video so the link will have to work. This is just one good video but there are many more available and thanks to these I've made HUGE progress with Katai.
When I first started consistently riding Katai in June she looked like this.
She's always been very tight through the back and shoulder and inverted as these pictures from before I started riding her show.
She was getting even more like this during the last few months I was riding with J. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately I have no pictures or video from those lessons but after a month of no lessons with me riding her she looks like this.
I'm not an expert, very much need lessons and it's because of what I filtered out of lessons with J that I'm able to get this but J has told me several times whole watching me ride my pony this way that I'm going to ruin her. Doesn't look like that to me. To me she looks like she's stepping under herself, swinging, relaxed, forward, soft, building top line, reaching, etc. Look at just how much more free she is through her shoulder and how her under neck muscle is slowly fading.
So this is my goal for the next couple months. Slow, consistent, relaxed work where I continue to help her find her rhythm and develop the right kind of strength.
I hope all of you have had a wonderful Thanksgiving!