Monday, 15 October 2007

The rider makes the horse

I haven't updated you on my whereabouts so here is what I was up to recently. I was teaching at Ealing as usual, rode Columbus and taught in Middlesex to start with.
I am absolutely loving this year's autumn. Whether this is because I see more of it than last year where I was confined to a desk all days or whether it is because of the spring-like weather, I don't know. Most likely, it is down to both of those reasons.

At the weekend I went to teach on that dressage rally I mentioned a few posts before. I was a little nervous beforehand as I know how much effort went into organising the training and that people would be coming especially from their own yards and hoping to learn something good/new. The moment I entered the arena though, I felt at ease and happy. I had a clear image of what we will be working on and I enjoyed every minute of the session.
This feeling of being in the right place always reassures me that I have made a right choice and that teaching is what I want to do.
Everybody was really pleased with their work and they enjoyed themselves so that was the best indicator for me.
We will meet again in November.

Today I went to ride Wilastra and face the feedback from a local trainer and her opinion on my issues with the mare. I took a lot out of that session and I am very glad to have been told about my mistakes. I titled this post 'the rider makes the horse' as this sums up my issues with Wilastra. I have to work on my contact with her mouth as at the moment it is too wishy-washy and I am making her insecure. I always say, no matter how good you think you are as a rider, never stop having lessons/trainings. It's about time I save some money for my own lessons too!
Full report can be find here: Flatwork with Mette and below is just one of the videos. Watch out for the lovely 'That was really pants!' comment. It was related to the fact that my outside rein seems to go too long and loose the correct action. I am puzzled as to why I am doing that on Wilastra as I know for a fact I don't do it on Columbus. Maybe it's because he actually is heavy in my hands so I feel the differences straight away.
Anyhow, I do have a lot to work on...I wonder whether I should be showing those videos on here;) My clients might leave me if they see I make same mistakes I correct in their riding! Maybe I should just work on myself secretly and then only emerge when I can ride a PSG test. Maybe I should just find a push-button schoolmaster, video myself and show only that one not one on a challenging youngster. On the other hand, maybe not. It must be for real.


And below, another video from today - Jumping Bobby The Jumper who Lost It. It's not a stylish way of jumping but hey, he is jumping which is the main thing. We had only two stops during an entire session and that is including one after which he actually jumped from the standstill. He won't go to Hickstead but I hope that I will live to ride him over the course of jumps, even be it at the home arena. I should have balanced the canter better on the last approach - no excuse for that! When you watch him you will see he pushed a little too hard before the pole and I didn't gather the momentum.

15th October07

More news? I received some more DVDs from my dear mum today so I have Global Champions Tour (show jumping) from Chantilly and Arezzo plus European Eventing Champs from Italy! Now I just need to be sent some free time to watch them! ;)


Nicola said...

Very interesting, enjoyed the vidoes! Don't you just love lessons!!Even in Scotland they all sound like that!

Glad things are going well, she is a big mare!

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed it! I haven't had a proper lesson for ages, I just learn by watching others ;)
I will definitely try to schedule more training for myself as would not feel confident to teach something I cannot do well myself!

Suzie said...

Is that Mette as in Assouline or someone else? It'd be interesting if it was her - I'd be intrigued to know what you thought.
You're doing a good job with her. It's hard when you start taking a proper contact on a young horse - I find it always has to be stronger than you think, because they need the security. Once they are working into the contact, that is when you can start to lighten and get the horse to cary himself - many people forget or don't realise that it has to be this way round - otherwise the horse has no concept of what we want.
Lessons are amazing - when I worked for a dressage rider I had one every day for the two years I worked there - I love lessons. It's just annoying that they cost so much!

Unknown said...

No, it's not Assouline. I think her surname is Pettersen, she's a Dutch lady who has ridden up to Medium in the UK and has had some training with D.Trott but not sure about anything else - she was recommended to me by Wilastra's owner.

I am very keen to learn more from dressage point of view. My background is mostly in show-jumping and all the youngsters I have worked with in the past were ridden with very little or very light contact. I understand the principle of the better contact though and have noticed the difference in other horses I ride as well. I think you are right about this whole misconception and a lot of people think that taking stronger contact will hurt the horse's mouth. I hear this almost every day when out and about teaching.
If I could, I would have lessons every day too!

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