Hi Dressage ladies...
I just wanted to stop in and say... you're all Jedi Masters, remind me never to cross you.
I ride hunter/jumper and for my birthday, my friend got me a dressage lesson. I knew it was going to be strange when I got on the horse and the trainer told me to turn my toes straight and keep my knees at the saddle and my heels NOT down. She put me on the lunge line and took away the reins. "Sit up and Breath" the horse went forward... "tighten stomach in and sit heavy" horse stops. Post big, he spend up... smaller posts, slowed down. Want to canter? All I had to do was put my leg back. I don't even know If I was TOUCHING him I just literally pulled it back and we would go! Want to stop? Just literally THINK IT and sit back. He even did some spanish steps for me (the trainer said he was trying to show off for me :))
I ended up ditching the stirrups half way through because with them being so long, and with my weight not sinking down to my heel, they were more annoying than anything else. I'm like "these are NOT keeping me in the saddle, and more than anything I'm loosing them and they're clanking around..."
I suddenly realized that EVERY little movement I made was a communication and was very self conscious about it all. (particularly on this guy who was fine tuned to receive and interpret all communication!) I've done "dressage" work on my hunter jumper horse in my jumping saddle.. but this was something entirely different. Much respect for you all!!