Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Monday, November 17, 2008

Repetitive Minutia Or Why Dressage Can Seem Anal To The Uninitiated

We successfully got Zinger into the trailer and over to Brandywine. My friend Jeni met us there to watch Zing's lesson. The arena was busier than usual, so there was a lot of activity to distract Zing, but he managed it well. His only problem was some dropping after he was finished with lunging, but once put away and Kristina up, he was good. 

There is so much small technique to riding and training; put your leg back a little, bring the inside leg forward a bit, elbows closed, tighten you stomach, use the outside muscle of your upper-leg, squeeze your butt-cheeks while using the outside upper-leg muscle, give rein, not too much rein, flex the neck, too much bend in the neck, turn your upper-body, keep your eyes between his ears, tighten your seat, release your seat, squeeze, not too much..... You get the idea!

It's a good thing Kristina loves this, because I love the results but I don't have the patience for the work. They did a little bit of work on Zing's tight left side and in minutes he straightened his tail. It's amazing. Kristina spent so much time the past three weeks getting him to stop throwing his head that she didn't work on his muscle lengthening. That will be her job over the next two weeks.

I do believe we finally have a 'dressage' horse on our hands!


  1. I had a really good time watching today Sandra. Bill is an excellent instructor. Zing really came around, the more practice the better. He is so cute!

  2. glad you were able to get some business done with sucess. it's interesting to hear how much work goes into making all those pretty horse "moves".

    loved the woody allen quote below too...

    hope your week stays productive. and i can't wait till the winter shots.

    i only spent one winter in MA when my husband and i were dating.
    the sheer annoyance of having to warm up my car and scrape my windows was enough for me. i think we will end up back in west MA in a few years though, so I better buck up, and get tough.:)
    we are inheriting a 40 acre farm in the western part of the state eventually. my father in law has two horses there now. i know one is an old Morgan, not sure about the other one. his is mostly a gentlemen's farm, but there is a horse farm next door, that he works at sometimes.

    glad i'm learning more here.
    maybe i'll fit in a little better. :)

  3. He's not cute, he is THE MAN! Or, he's cute. Depends on the perspective, his or ours. : )

    I'm glad you could come. Bill said you could come along with one of my horses and just ride if you want. He is a very gentle man. If I had a horse to board, I would go there in a heartbeat. I really love it there.

    Christy, MA isn't that bad, it just gets cold, not too often in the icebox. And inheriting forty acres, I would be ramped up and ready to go. Your children will love it and eventually so will you. But. I think we don't want to wish you father-in-law away just yet. But in the end you will come to enjoy your life in the northland.

    Dressage is a life investment. Horses never stop training if you have a competitive horse. I have had horses in training between the dressage horses and the halter horses for what seems, forever. I am crazy, so anything I say needs to be considered suspect. Really. Seriously. I mean it. But it won't stop me from saying whatever anyway. : )

  4. Hhrumph! Bill must've liked Jeni better than me...
    I am glad you are enjoying your lessons and progress that THE MAN is making.
    I wish I had the focus to do dressage.

  5. Actually he never spoke to Jeni until after the lesson. He had several clients today at the time we were there. It was actually busy today.

    I don't have the focus to do dressage to the point of excellence, but Kristina does. And I have several horses with the talent. I must be lucky, cause I have trouble thinking I actually knew what I was doing when I bred them! I think that must mean you can't screw up good genes. : )

  6. ok i truly no nothing about cold, if MA is not icebox...:):):)

    and you are right, my children DO love it...eventually is the key word for me.:)

  7. We get air temperatures of -30 - 40 degrees and wind chill of -60. There is a town in Northern MN called Embarrass that was the model for Frostbite Falls on the old Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons. It is the 'Cold Capitol' of the nation. They go into the -60 degree range, air temps! That's icebox. : ) MA isn't THAT cold.

  8. I am just worried about staying on the horse at this point much less which muscles I am using to do it : )

    We have a class today and I am looking forward to it. I am getting TONS of correction from my instructor and I am understanding about 70 % ! : ) So 70% of a ton is not bad and I can tell that I am improving a little each time.

    I would love to watch some dressage competitions to see the precision that you were talking about. I think I will have to search You Tube : )
    Bye for now


  9. There''s lots of dressage videos on YouTube. If you understand 70%, I'd say you are doing very well.


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