The Return of Dino: Superstar Dressage Pony
|Throwback to that terrible jumper show where we looked DAMN FANCY.|
I'm FINALLY starting to feel like Dino and I are getting back to where we left off in our training this past fall.
We had an absolutely splendid ride on Friday afternoon. I declared it a flatwork day, and let my stirrups back down a couple holes from where I'd had them for our mixed flat/jumping rides earlier in the week.
Apparently I need to switch stirrup lengths more often, because my body was really feeling the difference! It's amazing how many different muscles are used just because the stirrup length changes an inch or two. I also absolutely LOVE how my saddle allows me to lengthen and shorten my leg as needed, and keeps me in balance for flatwork AND jumping. Best. Investment. Ever.
In any case... the ride started out great, with Dino being the least dramatic he's been since going back into serious work. It helped that I asked for forward right away, and eased him up into the first trot from a very swingy, energetic walk instead of trying to kick him up to it from a snail's pace. He thought about getting snotty once or twice, but a quick two-leg-thump shut that down pretty quickly. His attitude was fantastic!
After we had warmed up at the walk and trot and had a nice little hand gallop around the ring, we really got down to work. Remembering Nicole's post about building hind end strength by utilizing the canter, that's where I decided to focus our ride. Plus, in 2 out of 3 phases of eventing you're cantering. The canter needs to be as strong as possible! So we cantered.
|There was much cantering. Can you tell I have no new photos???|
All in all, Dino put forth a HUGE amount of effort and really tried his little heart out for the entire ride. He worked the hardest he's worked yet this year, doing some serious dressage for the better part of an hour. I was starting to feel like we'd never get back to where we were, but he proved me wrong. I can't wait to get a lesson scheduled now that I know we can keep up the effort for a full hour.