Do you ever have one of those moments of extreme clarity when you’re like “I really am a special kind of stupid”? That was me last night.
There’s nothing like a 40 degree temperature drop plus wind and misty rain to liven up your biweekly dressage lesson. Or test your resolve and dedication to this idiotic (and futile) pursuit of circle-trotting perfection.
Ok maybe I’m over-simplifying the objective of dressage.
And maybe I’m being dramatic about the temperature. There was no ice. Not even close. It was 48. Not pleasant, but not too terribly miserable. Granted, it was 88 a couple days ago so my thighs and butt were numb all the same.
I was a little concerned I might have a lot of airs above ground, so I got on early and walked for a while. I definitely had some forward but Henry was surprisingly not that tense or silly, aside from pretending to spook at the poles on the ground (which is kind of embarrassing when you’re on an event horse at a dressage barn).
After a short warmup we went straight to two-track work, where we quickly displayed that if it’s possible to do something, it’s also possible to OVERdo something, and we got dinged for too much angle in the shoulder-in. Look, Henry has decided he’s super good at sideways, ok?
He had a little bit of a tantrum when we got to haunches in on a circle. And by tantrum I mean he tried to root down hard against my hands and trot quickly away, like a horse’s version of clamping his hands over his ears and going LALALALALA CAN’T HEAR YOU.
Unfortunately for him I’m more stubborn than he is, so he ended up doing the exercise anyway (albeit with a lot of sasstail).
When we got to the canter work, Dressage Trainer threw out this little tidbit: “think of getting him to take longer strides with the hind legs”… which… are all of the people I ride with co-conspiring behind my back or something, because he’s literally the THIRD professional in the last month that has thrown out that exact idea.
I became even more convinced of a conspiracy when we were walking out afterwards and I joking told Dressage Trainer that I was gonna try not to die at Texas Rose this weekend. He barely even hesitated before he said “Well if you do, I’ll take Henry”. Jokes on him, because Event Trainer staked her claim a long time ago and she’s way meaner than he is so there’s no way he’d win that fight. But really though… I’m starting to get paranoid about their motives…