Are all your fingers pointing this way? Because they should be. Just call me queen of the dumb.
Are you ready for this…
Dressage is nothing like hunters. You’re shocked I know!
Ok maybe you aren’t shocked. But I am. Hence the DUMB. I was so happy (and naive) floating around in my little bubble. I love doing flat dressage work in my CC Childeric saddle. Of course I know how to dressage.
Look at us doing our fancy flat work with good equitation.
Spoiler alert. I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DRESSAGE!
We had our first real dressage lesson with trainer M last night. And it was eye opening (also awesome).
I had assumed that I’d be able to make do with the saddle I have. No problem. I’ll just lengthen the stirrups a hole. G was always telling me I need to raise my stirrups a hole so surely one hole down would be perfect for dressaging. All I have to do is sit deeper. Are you laughing at my idiocy yet.
Trainer M asked me to tell her about myself and about Tuck. Then she had us do a quick W/T/C so she could see where we’re at.
I assumed we’d be put on a circle from now until the end of time working on the proper way to do all the dressage things. Ha!
Trainer M explained the difference between hunter position vs dressage position. She pointed out the fact that I’m going to be fighting my saddle in order to be in the correct position. Then she had me lengthen my stirrups two holes and manhandled my legs into the place they should be. Ouch! My dressage muscles are soooo tight!
She had me start at the walk without stirrups simply working on holding the correct position. Sitting upright, shoulders back, back arched a little, legs long and back and for heaven sake stop with the heels down toe up. Let your leg go loose and your toe point down (say what?!?!). LOOSE! Get your thigh off the saddle. Stop gripping!
Then we added in a few steps of trot because who the hell can maintain that position for more then that. She taught me how to use my seat to walk. So cool! Then she let me take my stirrups back and she had me lengthen them three more holes.
Repeat all that, in both directions, posting trot and sitting trot (torture trot! when did sitting trot get to be so hard?!?!) transitioning to walk with my seat. Stop tipping forward. Post up not forward. Son of a monkey whore why is this so hard?!?!
Then she took my stirrups away and made me hold the reins in my outside hand and had me canter. Ride like a cowgirl! loosen up. Put your hand on your thigh. Thighs off the saddle. You’re slapping the saddle with your ass. Follow the movement with your hips. It’s easier to keep a string from falling off your open palm and moving with you than a stick. Be the string!
So much homework! Also I need a dressage saddle stat!