My First Dressage Lesson - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 13 Old 06-21-2013, 08:37 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
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I'm bringing my horse back to work after two months off and I'm riding 5 days a week, 15-30 minutes at a time depending on what we're doing. Before his time off we would ride 45 minutes to 1 hour of hard work and I'm hoping to be back at that point in about a month. Of course, it is different if a horse has been out of shape for a long time, then it will take longer and your horse will probably build muscles he never knew he had from doing dressage - as will you :) Keep things short, simple, and happy at first.
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post #12 of 13 Old 06-22-2013, 04:15 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Connecticut
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Originally Posted by QuietHeartHorses View Post

How often should I work with him during the week? Do I need to ride everyday?
If I have done anything that worked my horse's muscles more than usual or anything that used a new set of muscles, he either gets the next day off or we go out to play on the trails. I never do hard workouts back to back. Some do better with a day off. Others like to stretch out on a hack.

Sounds like you had a good lesson. I love the trainers that throw as much at you as possible, so you have lots of stuff to try out and work on.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #13 of 13 Old 06-25-2013, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Michigan
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So I gave him Saturday and Sunday off, I went out and groomed him and just played around, gave him apples... Then today, we went back to work. We didn't have another lesson, it was just us. Much more laid back, less pressure, more teamwork. I need to learn how to be in that mindset while being taught new things, I think his resistance in our first lesson was my fault. I was really nervous and I tried so hard to do everything my trainer asked... I think I made Riley feel nervous, too.

He was very relaxed and willing today. He did everything I asked without fighting me, he halted without trying to pull the reins, he reined back with no hesitation, and he kept a great pace the entire time. He made me so happy, I felt so much better when I realized he was happy to work with me.

I almost feel more confident when I'm working with him alone, I get to do things my way instead of feeling like I have to immediately respond to my trainers instructions. When she was teaching me how to rein back, she kept pressuring me, saying "Go! Go! Go!" and I felt like I had to get it done right then and there or else I was going to fail or something. She wasn't being harsh, she was just being very enthusiastic! I learned a lot and I look forward to learning more, I just need to get used to that fact that she is an intense lady!

I guess this is normal for lessons, right? That's why people have such a love/hate relationship with their trainers?

All in all, it was a learning experience for me above and beyond the dressage aspect. If I want to do this, I need to be able to push my horse and myself without stressing either of us out. See! I'm becoming a better horse person already!
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"A rider who would trade partnership for obedience
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