I MUST NOT RUSH
I MUST NOT RUSH
Maybe if I repeat that enough times I will get it in my head? Just because we have one good day doesn't mean we'll be done the next.
I'm rushing her, but nothing seems to be happening at the walk phase, and I'm impatient, and I know she can do much better. I just have no idea how to ask. Which makes me terribly happy, note the sarcasm ;)
I really cannot seem to figure out how to engage Greta's haunches, or to get her to bend anywhere off my leg. She'll go forward off my leg, she'll do a lovely leg yield off my leg, but no bend. She'll just keep her body straight and just slightly counterflex... it's hard to describe. We have little improvement at the walk. She'll track up but beyond that she just inverts her neck when I pick up contact, whether we do it on a circle or serpentine or on the ceiling haha.... so we start over again..... and again and again and again..... she definitely does not have a nice trot under saddle like I know she can, because I have seen her do it on the longe line and out at pasture (my what a floaty trot she can have!) a gazillion times. I have a bruise (first saddle bruise ever I think) on my left leg just above my ankle where I was pushing into the girth to just try and get a smidgen of bending. I put my outside leg just behind the girth, but that's just because I know I'm supposed to do that, I can't seem to use the technique to it's full or appropriate advantage. And forget the outside rein: she takes it quite literally still.
So I was frustrated with today's ride, as you can tell.
However, our halts are almost spot-on (she doesn't halt with her haunches engaged all of the time, but she does halt when asked without a tug of war with the reins) and she'll shorten and extend her walk no problem with just my seat and legs. She'll go forward off my leg. So we are making progress.... but it's sooooo slow DX
I am just.... frustrated. I must remember that it is only day 6 of what will probably be several months, and after that a few years before we might even think about first level, but it's just no fun anymore. It's getting tedious. It's feeling like dressage.
I must not rush. But Lord, if only things didn't have to be at such a sluggish pace! Because I know she can do it, and I know can do it, I just don't know how to do it!
I feel almost like I have to do this on my own for some reason. But I am going to ask for help. And the books can't tell me everything and replace a hands-on instruction. I don't want to give up an go back to lessons because we are quite behind the other riders, at least I am, Greta is probably way ahead of things haha, and I feel the need to slow things down and actually get these basics and understand how to utilize them.
So yeah, riding feels like an absolute fail right now.
But off the saddle, things are amazing. Like, you have no idea.
Greta will follow me everywhere I go, no lead, through the arena or pasture or the barn aisles. She'll come when called, or at least perk her ears at me! She will stand in the grooming stall without any cross ties or even a halter. She loves her ear massages and neck massages and eye rubs and thorough groomings and apples. She is so sweet and lovable and intelligent and gorgeous and perfect and everything I had always dreamed of since I first envisioned a horse my own as a little girl trucking around on lesson ponies. She is the perfect horse.
I'm just not the rider I thought I was, and it is quite frustrating, don't get me wrong. I know I have to work through it and get my confidence back up because this is making me feel quite incompetent. We do fun things like gallops in the pasture and hacks around the yard almost daily, and I know how to work her past scary objects and what-not, but then we get in the schooling arena and I just go "Oh crap, I don't know what the HECK I am doing! How do I do this? How do I ask? I thought I asked right, but I obviously didn't because I'm not getting the right response."
I want to learn how to communicate with dressage. I want to learn how to become a better athlete and how to help Greta become a better and more beautiful athlete. I'm just impatient and slightly confounded and boy is that a killer!
But you know what the good thing is? At least I'm admitting it and I'm looking for solutions. I still don't know what I'm doing, but I'm trying. E for effort, right?
I'll see how tomorrow goes. I'm tired, and I know I will feel much happier tomorrow. I might just delete this post. But I really wanted to vent. It feels good to understand my feelings now.
One thing is for certain: I am definitely looking forward to GRETA KISSES, my favorite time of the day :)