Rose Colored Glasses

I'm not overly positive in my outlook. As a matter of fact I struggle to keep a positive frame of mind and not fall into the easiness of negativity. And yet...
I think I see my riding through rose colored glasses. In my mind my movements are smooth as glass and my feel is exactly 'right' - never too much or too little, with each movement glidingly balanced side to side and front to back. Boy, when I stop to pay attention to it though, it's pretty jerky. Especially when the aid requires weight in the left stirrup - I kind of lurch and heave over into position :) 
At least I'm aware now that the left weight aid was missing. It isn't coming easily though! To Rogo's credit I can see a difference (improvement) in his response now that I'm trying to get the left weight aid right. He definitely moves off my left leg better, bends to the left better and changes bend better. I keep telling him how good he is every time he responds well to it. I wonder if there is a way to get the left side of my body more coordinated and controlled? 
Today Doug and I both rode. I was very happy with my ride with Rogo. He's getting his trot back and we had some great trot work - 20 m circles, figure eights, serpentines, trot /halt/trot - he kept his forwardness throughout. Yeah! We even did some shoulder in. He isn't completely steady in it, but it's coming along nicely.
We did cantering in both directions - going large and 20 m circles. I wanted to work on the up and down transitions. They still need work.
Leg yield isn't getting anywhere. I must be doing something wrong. He'll step over at the walk. But usually not by much and not consistently. Wish I knew what I was doing wrong.
Doug is concerned about Savanah not wanting to hold her canter. I think he needs to build up her hind quarter strength again (they didn't do a lot of work this fall and I notice her canter has gotten flat) and also I think he needs to communicate that he's committed and means it when he asks her to carry the canter.
All in all a really fun ride.


TeresaA said…
rose coloured glasses are a must with riding. You should read some of Jane Savoie's work. I love how she goes into visualization. I have a couple I can lend you.
In regards to the leg yield it could be a few things:
1. you are blocking with the outside leg/hand without realizing it
2. you are trying too hard with your inside leg which makes you collapse over
3. your timing is not correct- so he can't move over
4. he doesn't believe you mean it. Once you ensure that you are asking him correctly don't be afraid to reinforce the leg with a kick, tap or spur to tell him to MOVE over. Doesn't matter how it looks, you can refine later.
Anonymous said…
On leg yield, I'll bet the timing of your leg aid isn't in sync with him - you need to cue just as the outside hind leg that needs to step under and across is about to leave the ground - if you get a ground helper to watch for this and cue you verbally with "now", "now", "now", it'll come together pretty quickly, I expect. Also, as Teresa says, make sure you're open and "allowing" with your leg and hand on the side he's moving into.
Carol said…
Thanks for the great feedback. I'd love to borrow your book(s) Theresa.
I think my leg yield could be any or all of items 2, 3 or 4 :), with 2 and 3 being the biggest offenders. I can feel the hind leg position and when I need to give the aid, so I need to be more careful with this and also I was collapsing my hip for a while now, so I need to get over that.
I really appreciate the feedback.
TBDancer said…
Oh, the rose-colored glasses. Me, too. I watch people ride (auditing clinics, "peeking" when I can as I scribe for judges) and I can SEE what they are doing or NEED to do to make things work for them. I get in the saddle and I feel like a kid on a pony ride. I think the self-doubt and "ease of negativity" is all part of the journey of dressage. I AM to the point where I can quite often feel the leg yield is working. What gets me is when I'm riding and something (don't ask me what) is going on and I do "something" (again don't ask me what) and the instructor says, "GOOD CORRECTION!!" and I have NO idea what was going wrong or what I corrected. ;o)
juliette said…
I wear the rose-colored glasses too, although, I wear them all day and night - everywhere, not just on a horse. And, I share the left side weakness. My cordination on that side is just off and I am certain I translate that to the horse. Keep enjoying this journey! Rogo is!
You've gotten a lot of good feedback so far.

I can only add two things... Changing really ingrained physical issues takes time + lots of patience. The other is don't be surprised if, as you conquer your imbalance on the left side, you find some issues crop up on the right - at least that's how it is going for me :)

With your passion and work ethic, you will accomplish your riding goals - no rose colored glasses needed!!
Carol said…
Great feedback and suggestions! Thanks so much! This is the beauty of blogging - it really adds useful and meaningful perspective and ideas, straight from people who are or have faced the same things. Thanks!!!
Jan said…
Carol, You are such a thoughtful rider and horse owner! No wonder you sometimes feel badly about things - it is just that you care so much! That's a virtue; I guess the downside is occasionally feeling badly. I think, in my humble opinion, that you are probably a much better rider than you think you are. But when we are being given instructions, that means by definition that we are always, or almost always, being taught something a little different, or better, and so we are more aware of not quite having it yet. Maybe that is the one, tiny downside of taking lessons. Good for you and Rogo, on the many things you have accomplished!