Greta probably hasn't done hardcore dressage in almost 2 or 3 years, maybe more. It is my responsibility to make sure we continue with what we have learned, but to make sure it is done the right way so nothing is ruined for the future. We may not be round 100% or the time, but we'll focus on going forward and having Greta carry herself, not me forcing her onto the bit.
I don't really know what do as far as the canter, but I'm sure we'll get that down.... eventually........... hopefully.
Today's ride would've been much better if I had left off with a beautiful canter-to-trot transition Greta gave me. I felt her suddenly round up without any rein pressure, just my seat giving kind of a "downward shift" command (that I am far from mastering) and she just floated into the trot. I didn't bounce up and down and be forced to post, we just.... trotted. I started to walk her out of the arena, then I thought, "Oh, let's just do that a few more times!"
Well, nothing happens the same way twice. And it certainly didn't today.
So, as you can imagine, I'm a bit on the frustrated side in that I didn't do this much earlier when I felt some problems were arising.
I'm not erasing everything, just touching up on things that really need to be touched up on, particularly self-carriage and forwardness. I will be taking a long break from lessons so Greta and I can just slow down. We won't be doing any shows in the fall, I'm sure.
So as far with my sillyness as today's riding, yes, I'm frustrated and was tearing up on the way home that I couldn't have just ended things on a positive note. Yes, I cried over it hehe.
But I guess we did end it on a positive note, as Greta carried herself in the trot for several strides and make another nice floaty transition down to walk and a very light transition to the halt. I called it a day, and we cooled off outside the arena. We made it down the driveway without any refusal!!! YESSSSSS!!!!
So here is the plan, starting to tomorrow, based on what I've read and what sounds right, I suppose. Once again... I'm doing this DIY-style, so if something seems off, please let me know:
- Work on going forward at the walk and trot on a fairly loose rein
- Work on transitions between halt, walk, and trot and rely much less on my reins and more on my seat so our downward transitions aren't just falling into the next gait.
- Basic circles and diagonals and half diagonals and serpentines, both 2 loop and 3 loop
- Keep canter work to just having a controlled pace, loose rein as well. I don't really know much on how to activate her haunches in the canter....
- Go forward in the trot and have Greta relax into the bit. I haven't really had much luck with this either, but I'm sure we'll figure it out?
- I need to just soften my body: soften my eyes, breath more from my diaphragm, let energy flow from Greta's haunches through my hands and forward to her front.
I really hope this will work. We'll still be working on leg yields (which come in handy to get her into scary corners and making circles smaller and bigger) and anything we have already learned and learned right. Trot extensions I kind of want to hold off until we can just do it at the walk. I don't really know how to do that either.
I feel like I'm diving into choppy water. But the deeper I dive, the calmer it will get. Greta and I just need to dive back into some basics before we move on much more. I am so frustrated but I just know this is the best way: the right way.