A fellow blogger recently posted a wonderful quote. “I didn’t come this far only to come this far.” So I ask myself…..how far have I come? There are so many moments in riding and training when the rider feels like they are not progressing or have not taken any steps forward but only steps back. I absolutely know this to be true in Dressage. It may well be true in other equestrian disciplines as well.
The canter has been the focus of my lessons with my coach, Belinda Trussell, for the past few weeks. The aim is to get Biasini sitting more behind, coming up more in the shoulder, and being light in the contact. And I am supposed to be quick with my aids, those lightening fast half halts and adjustments. It has been a bit tough I have to admit. Sometimes I felt like I was just not getting anywhere. I would get it…. then loose it. Get it…. then loose it again.
But the trot! Heaven! Biasini has been doing so well with this; he’s up in the shoulder and light in the hand and it all seems to just be gliding along and I can maneuver him through shoulder in, half pass, whatever I want. So I rested on those laurels for a bit. Mistake!
Last week the canter work became much more solid. Here is a video of some very simple work at the canter.
And then we did the trot work. What happened to my lovely easy, flowing trot? Now I was really struggling! Why? Because the bar had been raised. Belinda Trussell does not let me rest on any laurels. I considered not showing you this video because I can find all sorts of things wrong with the rider (me). But I am going to show it to you anyway.
This is another step up. Getting up that staircase always involves climbing up yet another step. Belinda advised me at the end of the lesson to look at video from 6 months ago or a year ago and to see how far I have come. I did and I was encouraged. It’s just like a lot of things in life. We need to remind ourselves that we have made progress. And last year I did not say to myself : “I’ve come this far and this is far enough.” I said: ” I didn’t come this far only to come this far.”