Saturday, February 19, 2011

Allison Springer Clinic-Day 1 Dressage

Tiamo was trained and ridden by Allison for most of his life, and that's who we got him from so I was very excited when my friend at the barn decided to organize a clinic with her! We did one last month that was a big success, and she is back again this weekend!

This morning I started off with a private dressage lesson. Last month, one of things Allison had me work on was slowing Tiamo down and not letting him cart me around. He is "deceptive" in the fact that he is never actually running off or feels heavy in the hands, but he likes to start taking over sometimes. My tendency is to go into passenger mode and freeze, and it's something I've always been working on that's gotten much better over the years. This morning I worked on really getting him on my aids instead of just in a nice looking frame. I learned that I have the tendency to get tight and too strong in my right arm, leading to a weaker, less effective right calf and thigh. My left leg is much stronger and effective. Ironically, I have *always* liked going to the right more than the left.

Things to remember about my position:
Keeping the right hand level with the left.
-To do this I have to feel like my right hand is lower than the left.

Staying strong in my stomach and lower back
-This is deja vu from my lessons with Kim. She says the exact same thing about letting my stomach pump in and out. This also makes me frustrated at myself because I know I need to get my core stronger. And I'm writing this eating a (small!) piece of chocolate cake.

Keeping elbows in, using wrists for flexion
-She didn't mention this as much which I was happy about because I've been working on this every ride.

Sit on my butt! And let my hips move with the horse
-Self explanatory. I can sit my butt in the saddle and be still, but I have to learn to truly sit the trot by following his movement with my hips.

As far as exercises go, we mainly concentrated on us being straight and controlling the shoulder by using my seat, thighs, and outside rein and trying to NOT use my inside rein nearly as much. This lesson highlighted my overuse of the inside rein, especially to the right. She was a stickler about the trot/canter transitions and not letting the first stride be long or the trot get faster (deja vu of Kim again).

Later...Day 1 and 2 Jump Lessons.

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