My First Dressage Lesson

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My First Dressage Lesson

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    06-21-2013, 01:51 AM
My First Dressage Lesson

... is in less than 12 hours! I'm really excited and nervous, I have no idea what to expect. My instructor is my barn owner, so we already know each other pretty well. When I told her that I wanted to start at kindergarten level and go from there, she laughed, but I am so serious! I was never taught anything by a trainer, I was put on a horse when I was 6 years old and I have been haphazardly plodding around ever since.

I don't know how far I want to go with this, but my goals for now are to learn the correct way to do things, to refine my skills, and to become a better rider. My horse has done dressage in the past, so it will also be nice to bridge that gap. My instructor, and quite a few other riders at my barn, show all the time. They even host shows at our barn once a month. Maybe if I pick up on things, I might enter. I've already been encouraged to do so. I guess it really depends on how well I can train my inner cowgirl to sit up straight and post without looking like a loosely drawn sack of potatoes!

Wish me luck! And as always, any advice and encouragement would be greatly appreciated!
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    06-21-2013, 02:01 AM
Advice, relax enjoy, listen, and ask questions if you are not sure.

Encouragement? Heck girl just do it, it will make you a better rider, any learning is a good thing. I was pretty much in the same boat, but I reached ancient stage before I found out that the lessons that I had as a kid (cheapest stable around) taught me to love and enjoy horses, and to stick on pretty good, but ZERO about equitation, but I am now having a blast learning.
Bagheera likes this.
    06-21-2013, 03:33 AM
I HATED dressage when I started it! It was so tedious! I had come from a hunter jumper background and was used to zooming around and sometimes even winging it. In dressage there is no such thing as an unintentional move. And as you go up levels.. I'm sure you'll find you never knew riding was so complicated!

BUT! It's so worth it! When it all comes together and you ride a beautiful test or even perfect something you've worked on for ages.. Moments like that are priceless!

Dressage is great for your riding regardless of what you decide to do in the future. Don't over think it and have fun! We'll be waiting for updates ;)
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    06-21-2013, 10:19 AM
My advice, if you're not sure about something, ask questions. Lots of questions. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what you're trying to accomplish before you try it. Things will go easier for you that way
    06-21-2013, 11:43 AM
Well, here I go! I'm off to the barn to get Riley all groomed up and ready to go. I don't know why I'm so nervous, it's not like she is going to throw me into a dressage ring immediately. I guess I'm just excited. Thanks for the advice and words of encouragement, I will keep you guys updated.
Golden Horse likes this.
    06-21-2013, 11:52 AM
Have fun
    06-21-2013, 03:04 PM
Everything went great! My horse was a little confused as to why I all of a sudden was demanding contact and asking him to do things that I never ask of him, but he will come around. I didn't really learn anything new, just new, better ways to do things. My instructor really did start at kindergarten level for me, which is fantastic! Like I said, I want to learn the RIGHT way to do things.

She taught me basic things like leg yielding, the proper way to halt by disengaging his shoulders with my knees, how to rein back, how to do a pirouette... We have a whole bunch of new things to practice now. It's all simple, easy to understand, but just knowing that I am doing it right makes me feel more accomplished.

So far so good! I can't wait to learn more. Any tips and little exercises that you guys can share with me would be awesome!
    06-21-2013, 05:06 PM
That sounds pretty advanced for lesson one!
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Skyseternalangel likes this.
    06-21-2013, 08:23 PM
Sounds like a great first lesson! :) I hope you enjoy it even more as you continue to learn!
    06-21-2013, 09:18 PM
Originally Posted by Golden Horse    
That sounds pretty advanced for lesson one!
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Advanced? Well, that makes me feel good!

I just assumed she wasn't asking much of me today. I still felt really confident because I understood everything that she was asking me to do right away and I was able to get my horse to cooperate, regardless of his protests. I hope he will eventually understand that I am not trying to torture him, we are just going back to work. I'm sure he will get used to it and start softening. He was just not happy about the short rein and all the transitions. He is really comfortable just being a dawdling trail horse at this point.

How often should I work with him during the week? Do I need to ride everyday? I work full time, but I can dedicate myself as much as I need to. Should I start with a little work and give him more down time? Also, since he isn't in shape, how long should these workouts be? My lessons are 30 minutes and he was a ball of sweat by the end of it today, so I don't want to push him too hard early on. I want to make sure he is just as happy and feeling just as good as I am.

So many questions!

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