Dressage Camp Days 3 and 4

It is still wonderful. No surprise there eh? I've been auditing the Cindy Ishoy clinic for hours a day when I'm not riding and it is such a great learning experience.
In my lunge lessons the main things Jane is addressing with me are keeping my legs back, dropping my shoulders which I pull up to my ears, and tucking my butt in. Also, she's teaching me to bend and unbend my knee in rising trot to keep my heel down. I've had a bad tendency to push up and down off the balls of my feet causing my heels to come up and leg to move. A good way to practice is to stand with your toes on a stair and rise up and down off your toes. Then rise and drop again, only this time do it by bending and unbending your knees, while keeping your heels down. It's a good trick which works for me.
In my lesson with Rogo we're working on forward, forward, forward. I thought he'd get cranky if pushed too hard, especially after four days of it, but he's isn't minding at all. He's a real trooper and today Sue said he had a good work ethic. This is HUGE for us, as he did not want to work as a young horse. He'd pin his ears, shake his head and refuse to move at some point in every ride, and he'd have to go on the lunge or in the round pen. We just stayed calm and patient with him, and now he likes to work. He needed to grow up. He's getting more forward already, and starting to use his hind quarters more and carry himself. She's getting me to ride him with a slightly shorter rein and to bend him to relax and accept it. We do lots of figure eights and three loop serpentines to change the bend. She gets us to use the outside rein and inside leg to hold their shoulders up and keep then straight. A recurring theme, but it's getting better, is my need to keep my hands down.
Today we did leg yield and although he's never done it very well at the trot at home he did it quite well here. We did it from the quarter line to the wall both ways and over he went as nicely as could be, keeping a good rhythm and forwardness.
His canter is getting it's jump back that he had in the past and he's quite joyful about it. I LOVE it. He needs to learn to carry it though, as he still drops onto his forehand at times.
Jeni from Super Size My Cob lightened my thunder storm riding picture. I love it. I've got a huge grin because I think we're crazy to be riding. It turns out that the airport was closed, roads were washed out and there were many car accidents because of the storm. It was a crazy.

There are so many cute dogs and puppies here that I have to post a few pictures:

 Labradoodle and golden retriever puppies playing. How cute is that?

 Andrew's been playing in the mud.

Poodle going for tractor drive.


Anonymous said…
Sounds like a wonderful experience - lucky you!
This clinic is just what the doctor ordered Carol! Sounds like you're both having a great time :)
Lori Skoog said…
Can't beat that kind of exposure to good teaching. I'm impressed.
Oak Creek Ranch said…
In yoga, my instructor is always telling me to drop my shoulders. I know exactly what you mean about them creeping up towards your ears. I'm going to try that stair exercise. I think I am guilty of the same thing. Thanks for sharing - it's helpful for me too!
Kelly said…
It is so encouraging to me to hear that Rogo is learning to enjoy working as he matures and gets older. My mare, who is now 4, has a 'discussion' with me most every ride - stops and does not want to go forward. I have learned to not let her get away with it and she moves on. I am hoping she outgrows this like Rogo!
Have a wonderful rest of camp :)
Jeni said…
Thanks for the complement Carol and link. I hope you like the other one I did.

My trainer makes me do that heel trick IN THE SADDLE - oh my gosh does that hurt!

Shoulders down and back - I always think about what it would be like to hold a pencil between my shoulder blades. Helps remind me to keep them in their place.