“What are you thinking? Right now!”

When my coach Belinda Trussell asks me “what are you thinking” I can be fairly certain that whatever I am thinking it is not the right thing! In this instance I was riding through a corner. Ah ! Yes! The corners! Belinda then said: “After every movement the next corner is SO important. ”

“You can’t think, Ah! I’ve finished that movement, thank goodness and stop thinking about the corner coming up. You must think, right after the movement, I need this corner. That’s what is important. I want to ingrain this into your riding and your brain.” These are Belinda’s words to me in a lesson this past week.

She is right of course. It is so important. The higher you go up the levels in dressage, the more importance those corners have. You must be ready for the next movement which may start at the centerline. Flying changes! Half passes! Shoulder in ! Pirouettes! The corner is where you can prepare.

So there you have it. This corner thing needs to be in my brain. Part of my automatic response. Here is a video where just riding a corner and a 20 meter circle calls for constant vigilance. Bend, Bend, Bend! and Up, Up, Up! A big step toward success is always, always, be present in mind and aware of everything I need to do.

20 Comments Add yours

  1. People say “do not get cornered”…but what do they know. We wish you continued good luck with your corners.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you.The corners have to be ridden in dressage and my coach places great emphasis on them. I appreciate your good wishes!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I suppose that the balance is that for every corner there is a corresponding straight line? Cheers.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Emma Cownie says:

    What’s in your head in nine tenths of the battle!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Absolutely you are right about that Emma. Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. dprastka says:

    WONDERFUL video, it looks so hard as I know you are riding every stride. And you have to know how to use the double bridle, I hear her say up, up, with the snaffle which I know is one rein of the two and the snaffle bit is in your first two fingers and the curb in your last two (ring and pinky finger?) Is that correct with double reins and a separate snaffle and curb bits?(I’ve ridden with double reins in the past many years ago – but it was one bit with a shank with one rein on top ring and lower rein on lower ring). Thanks for sharing as I know there is so much to think about!! You look great! ❤️🐴

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    1. anne leueen says:

      So…the double bridle. The snaffle rein is between pinky and ring finger and the curb rein is between ring finger and middle finger. Both reins come up and over my index finger between the knuckle and the first joint. My curb bit does not have a port it just has a slight bend and it takes pressure off the tongue when it is engaged. When you hear Belinda saying “up up up” she means she wants me to do a series of small half halts that will bring Biasini’s withers up and as the withers come up then the neck and the poll come up as well. And his hind end sits more and he is more engaged and “through”. She says more snaffle so that I use the snaffle for the half halts and let the curb be completely passive. Also the up up up is also a clue to me that have to bring my own ribs up and sit up but not behind the vertical. There is a lot to remember and think about .But when I get it right Biasini responds so well. Thanks for watching the video and asking about the double bridle. I always appreciate your interest.

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      1. dprastka says:

        Ahh, I got them backwards. It is really interesting as there is so many subtle cues, and I never thought of bringing their whither up so their neck and poll come up as well, which like you said engages their hind end. I see better now. And then there is your rib cage to bring up, thank you for explaining in more detail. So interesting! Soooo much to remember, but it is so awesome your horse responds so well and is such an athlete you can do this upper level dressage. Thank you!!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          I also had another interesting questions about corners. I am thinking about writing a post specifically about the bridle and the reins and the corners of the dressage ring and how far into them we have to ride depending on what level we are riding at. Anyway glad you got something out of my answer.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. True, like life. But please explain corners ! Are corners the places where a horse takes a curve ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      The dressage ring is a rectangle. In the corners of that rectangle the horse has to go into the corner as he turns. For the less advanced horses and riders the corner can be ridden as if it was part of a 20 meter circle. Then as the horses and riders get more advanced they must ride deeper into the corner and ride it as if it was a 10 meter circle or an 8 meter circle. The point my coach wanted to make was that after you do a movement from a dressage test such as a half pass across the arena or flying changes you cannot take a breather when you arrive at the long side of the arena. You need to get ready to ride into the corner and keep the horse going at the same pace, with the same level of engagement and activity and in the same frame. In the higher levels this is especially important as there will be another movement coming up quickly and the horse and rider must be ready. I hope that makes sense!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was complete visible, and as much i started thinking of these words as verses in a political arena. For every corner coming, we along with all our tools need to ready and prepare for the any plain. Thank you anne. Delighted to have this conversation.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. We always have to think ahead. Glad that you do ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      You are right Susie!

      Like

  6. Irene says:

    A great lesson that can be applied to much in life. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      This is so true Irene.😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. David says:

    It’s akin to looking ahead, 2-3 fences ahead, in the jumper world, getting your line set up correctly. Your horse is handling the fence you’re going over right now. It’s heads up, your eyes focused ahead in the course. The hard part is making everything a matter-of-fact, second nature which takes a while to learn. Even harder is making an adjustment on the fly on the stuff right in front of you.

    Nice practice video. 🙂

    – E

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks for this comment! I remember many, many, years ago when I was eventing at Pebble Beach the coach there used to say:” the corners are your friends”. He was right .

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Even if you aren’t on a horse and doing dressage, you need to think about the “corners” coming up in life! Good lesson

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      AhHa! Yes! Thanks for that reminder😀

      Like

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