Starting Dressage lessons in the Spring
I have a friend who has ridden professional dressage for years and has been giving lessons for a while so I thought I'd asked if she would start giving me dressage lessons once the weather breaks after winter. When I bought Raven in June, she was hunt seat trained and was in a few professional area shows but was a pasture pet for 2 years and needs to relearn almost everything from head set to leg movement. Is there anything I can do with her during the winter to start to get her ready for these lessons in the spring. I am already working on getting her head lowered and moving from the hind quarters rather then the front. Any other suggestions would be appreciated :) Thanks.
Honestly, it would be more fun for you to spend some of your winter time reading books about dressage. YOu will need to learn the terms that this instructor will be using, and you will want to study some of the philosophy of classical dressage. The more you read, the more quesstions you will have and the better student you will become.
As for riding the horse, I dont' know exactly what you mean by headset, but you can work on developing as good a following hand as possible, maintaining a soft but constant contact. You can work on learning to let your leg hang down, so maybe ride w/o stirrups and with a long, relaxed leg.
really, just enjoy the winter, watch some videos and read books. There are so many good books on dressage.
This tells me you are on the wrong track.
With the headset, she holds her head very high and loves tossing it when she's asked to do something she doesn't want to so I have been using a martingale while I ride so that she positions her neck lower. Her movements are very forward so her lope and trot are very choppy.
Thanks for the book suggestions. I'll look into some now that we are headed into the snowy season here.
Paul, martingale is not designed to keep the head lower or help to teach a horse to move correctly/in frame. Personally I'd remove it and instead would ask the horse to come on a bit (or at least to the bit in the beginning). I'd also highly recommend to subscribe to Jane Savoie videos (it's free). They are very straight and easy to understand and give the basics. You can google some on youtube too (like half halt and some others). :-)
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