As of Friday September 8, I will be “Out of the Office”. My husband David and I are off across the pond to London , England to see our son who lives there. I will still be checking in to see what my fellow bloggers are up to but may not be posting on my usual schedule. But before I go I’d like to tell you about “The Moment”.
If you are a dressage rider you will know we live for the good moments. Dressage is such an exacting discipline that we can never get it all perfect so we focus on those moments when it is right and good. Sometimes we have amazing moments when something we have been working on suddenly comes right. WOW! There it is! And then in a few more strides it is usually gone again. But we got it . We got it for that Magic Moment. And that means we will be able to get it back and get it back more often until it becomes what we expect as the normal. So here is my moment.
I am riding without stirrups. If you follow this blog you will know that my coach Belinda Trussell has been asking for a lot of this work. We are working on the canter. The goal is to have Biasini collected and his hind end engaged and his shoulders up. How do I accomplish this when what he would like is to have his body nice and long and his head reaching for his knees. Here is how I ask for that engagement and lift.
I sit up. I keep my lower leg on his sides and then give a push with the insides of my ankles and a second later I pinch my shoulder blades together and, if necessary, with my fingers I ask him not to speed up.
I was going down the long side of the arena and the canter was going very well. Then I gave that push and then the request for him not to speed up but to bring up his shoulders and his head. And there it was……Boom! It felt like this…
But I knew that it may have looked like this….
This is US Olympian Laura Graves on her horse Verdades. This is a brilliant canter; uphill and bounding and wonderful. Maybe Biasini and I did not look exactly like this but I believe, yes I do believe, that we were very, very close to this. It lasted till we turned down the centerline for a different movement. In that lesson I got it back once more. I know that since we got it once we can get it again. How long has it taken us to achieve that ‘moment’? Well I would say we have worked on the canter this spring and summer for about 100 hours. A hundred hours for one moment? Yes! That one moment is the opening of a new door. It makes is all worth it.