January 27, 2009

Back to basics

"The beginning is the most important part of the work" (Plato 427 BC - 347 BC)
"A bad beginning makes a bad ending" (Euripides 484 BC - 406 BC)

At the base of the German training scale there are relaxation, rythm and contact.
Fame is a spirited horse, and I like her that way, but she can tense up.
So I constantly have to watch the three above.
She is turning six years old this spring, and even if we are playing with a bit more advanced exercises it’s the basics that are most important.
As she is getting stronger, we are starting to work towards collection.
Not collected gaits, she is not ready for that yet, but playing with lengthening and coming back, both in trot and in canter.
I have to send her forward while keeping the rhythm, keeping her relaxed and have an even contact.
She has a good canter, but I would like her to get more engaged in the trot work.
She often wants to take the easier option out and increase the rhythm instead of engaging the hind legs more, so I have to watch the rhythm and on the same time the contact, not allowing her to get heavy in the hand, and not tensing up in the neck and letting go of the contact either.
Constant input-check-output.
When she is eager, she sometimes start getting slight "hearing" problems. So again, working with transitions down, getting her to wait. Accepting the half halts. Wait for me, but keep the energy.
Funny that something that sounds so boring can be so intriguing?

I ride for my instructor every week, it’s my Funday.
Last week we had our training on Thursday. The training did not go as well as I had hoped; she was a bit tense and did not quite concentrate on the work. She had worked very well on Monday and Tuesday, so looking back I wonder if she actually had a bit of training ache from the previous days. We went trail riding in the week-end, but I worked her yesterday again and she felt much better, so I’m looking forward to the training today.

I try not to get disappointed those days when thing doesn’t work out as I had hoped, and after many years of riding it’s not that difficult.
I know that steady work brings us on in the long run, and that there will good days and bad days.
But the good days, aaah - they make me fly.
I keep them as secret treasures in my mind, experiencing the feeling over and over. They give me joy for several days.
And it’s not just the dressage work in itself, or mastering the exercises, it’s the fellowship with Fame.
She’s my buddy. We do things together. And I believe she understands a LOT.
I just have to let all the stress go, and tune in, marvellous!
You rock, Fame.


Anne i Hannover said...

Yes, Fame rocks!:)

HorseOfCourse said...

...and she did rock today! We are in a GOOOD mood, yesssir!