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???
We rode a seated, put-together canter on a 20m circle at each end of the ring, and then opened up the stride down the long side to the next circle. Dino did great with this, and after a few repetitions was coming forward and back with just a change in my seat. I worked him in a shoulder-fore in the canter in both directions, which he made a very valiant effort at! And then, we did our first counter-canter of 2015 and Dino was PHENOMENAL. I came across the short diagonal to change direction, and once we hit the rail on the other side he really came up under himself and collected his body to balance, and WOW what a feeling! We rode around the corner in counter-canter before making a simple change to switch leads. He then got a short walk break, after which I worked on the left-lead canter depart a little bit more. That particular movement really works his weak right stifle, so I try to do correct left-lead canter departs every ride. Dino. Was. AWESOME. Round, forward, and responsive every dang time! I ended with a super-awesome trot-halt transition and then gave him all the pats and scratches. Such a good pony!

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.



  2. Aren't those just the best rides? :)) Love this post!

  3. It takes time to get that back. :-) The muscle memory just makes it easier.

  4. Glad y'all are feeling in tip top shape again!

  5. Awesome! Gotta love those moments when you realize what an amazing memory they have!

  6. Yay, sounds great!! It feels so good to be getting back into the swing of things after winter :).
    PS Love your colors for the jumper show! So lovely!

  7. Love how we are all recycling photos. This winter has been a sad one. Sounds like a great ride!

  8. Oooh I'm going to try that exercise today!

  9. yay little Dino head!! So glad he's back. :D

  10. yay we love superstar Dino!! sounds like a great ride :)


Post a Comment

Popular Posts