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Do Less, Ask for More

My camera randomly captured this when I was trying to set it up to take video.
Unfortunately it's all the media that I have from Thursday 
I feel like this summer has been more about figuring out myself, motivation, and how to train my horse than it's been about actually training my horse. With this being said I feel like we've been making lots of progress.

I've been slowly chipping away at my position and how it's effecting Katai. I've also been figuring out some of the small evasions that she's been throwing at me that I couldn't originally identify when I didn't have as much dressage riding knowledge. More importantly I've been figuring out how to deal with the correctly rather than just operating on feel alone where sometimes I make the problem worse.

The problem is that sometimes this has been feeling more philosophical than actually like something I can take action on. Thursday felt like the first time in awhile that I put the knowledge and skills I've been learning to use, on my own, and worked through a tough situation to end up some place good.

I also learned a few things. One is that I need to go back to 5 rides per week, at least, Katai just has too much energy and isn't getting enough work right now. 4 rides or 5 casual rides just isn't enough for her current fitness level. I'm going to plan to do at least three, working dressage rides, a trail ride, a lunge, and then if she's still feeling hot or if one of our dressage rides ended up being a bit lighter I'm going to add a cavalletti day. the main thing for me is to make sure that during our dressage rides I can concentrate and really ride, and more importantly THINK the way that I know I can. If that means changing a dressage ride into a trail ride or lunge I'm going to do that. Riding dressage and then not really putting much into it or not concentrating is not gaining me anything.

The other thing is that I need to make a couple of things a priority in my rides, getting Katai in front of my leg and making her deal with a normal, light, leg pressure and not taking the pressure off when she over reacts and gives herself the tizzies.

Finally no treats again. Over the past few weeks I'd snuck her one very randomly and during the hunter pace she got a lot. For special occasions away from home I'll still give her some but she's started pinning her ears and giving me dirty looks in the crossties again so no more treats at the barn anymore. I had hoped that making them rare and random would be ok, but no.

My ride on Thursday was really great. I worked on things and was actually able to make progress without L there which has been really hit or miss lately (more miss than hit). I had identified a few things to work on and then I stuck to it. One of those was, as mentioned above, getting her in front of my leg. We ended in a better place but its something that still needs more work. I also really worked on getting her to still accept leg pressure. She has trouble figuring out the difference between the two which is totally on me but now it's time to start fixing it. We had some really good work and ended in a really nice place. It was also my first full ride in the trial saddle and after a few minor tweaks it still slid forward but less. I'm really falling in love with this saddle so I'm very hopefully that L will have some more ideas on how to girth it up that will fix the slipping issue entirely so that I can get it!


  1. I think you've been making fantastic progress. So much of riding really is the mental aspect as well. Fingers crossed for the saddle!


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