Rode my first dressage clinic!
Well, I rode my first 3-day dressage clinic with Alex Gerding! What a fantastic experience! I learned so much for myself and by watching other riders... I learned quite a bit about piaffe and passage, and had the fun chance to watch my trainer improve his stallion's canter pirouettes. Alex emphasized the important idea that dressage isn't about trick-training-- each movement has an intention and purpose for the horse. I really had a wonderful time learning from him.
As for me, I've been riding training level for about 6 months now and we're finally preparing for first level! Lots of work on shoulder in, haunches in, leg yielding at all gaits, counter canter, lengthenings and in general increasing the quality of my horse's movement. I was thrilled to hear Alex say that my horse is not on the forehand (woohoo! A long time coming!) and he had some encouraging words about arabians in dressage. Apparently one of his students just won a national level grand prix on her arabian!
I'm exhausted but very happy that I made the trek out to this clinic. Jax had some beautiful moments and now I know that we need to spend more time on our lateral work. I am pretty excited to begin planning for 1st level tests!
What a neat experience. If you ever have the opportunity to ride in a clinic, go for it! It's really wonderful the progress that you can make in 3 days with an experienced clinician.