Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Last Lesson of the Year

I had my last equitation lesson of the year today. I opted not to pick up any more lessons until next spring to save on money and stress. The days are getting shorter and I find that I cannot even fit in practice between lessons. What a difference a few extra hours of sun makes.

Wouldn't you know it? This was the best lesson yet, and I really felt bad about having to end these weekly get togethers with my equitation instructor. Today he taught me a little bit about dressage. I loved it! All this time I've just been going in circles and struggling to keep my horse at a consistent pace, keep him in frame, and keep my body position correct. With dressage I found that I didn't have to struggle so much, because with all the changes in direction and pace, my horse stayed focused. We gave him a job to do. I suspect he was totally bored with those circles and appreciated doing something a little more challenging.

I learned about the position of the lettering: Markers A K E H C M B F = All King Edwards' Horses Can't Manage Big Fences. That's the basics of memorizing the marker locations, but I found a website that showed there really are many more letters involved, especially in the bigger arenas.

I wish I had a big rectangle to ride in at home. I hate to constantly be "borrowing" my neighbor's arenas. She needs her privacy. My pasture is a rectangle, but I don't want the horses moving any faster than a walk out there, because it tears up the grass. Plus I'd have 18-wheelers roaring past us at 45 MPH just 20-feet outside the fence. I guess I'll have to spend more time at the Fairgrounds and hope that the barrel racers aren't out there. No offense to the BrownEyed Cowgirls. It's just that you can't have barrel racers and dressage riders practicing in the same arena without having a few collisions.

I'm thinking about asking my neighbor across the drive if I can pay a rental fee to ride on her lot. It's the perfect size for dressage and has a low fence like a dressage arena. She never uses the land for anything and it's not so close to her house that she might feel like I'm invading her privacy. Maybe if I offer to clean her weeds out and take them to the dump, she'll agree to it. LOL. I feel a bit like a pan handler when it comes to finding places to ride.

Picture: A dressage class in an Arabian horse show in Santa Barbara, California, Spring 2008.

6 comments:

Grey Horse Matters said...

Glad you had a great lesson, too bad you had to end them. It seems you were making real progress. In my opinion no matter what discipline you ride or prefer to ride it's always fun and informative to try new things. Dressage is a good place to learn some great basics. Hope you find a place to ride permanently.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

That's great news, NM. I'm glad that your last lesson went so wonderfully.
I'd love to learn more about dressage and what you actually do with those letters,too.
I'm guessing, you work in a pattern...as in Serpentine from Letter A to Letter F, and then side pass from Letter M to Letter H?

I hope you find a really conveneient and fun place to ride and practice what you've learned.

I have been riding Baby Doll all around my 3 acres and on the land all around our house and down the roads from our house. We have lots of trees and shrubs to circle and back around and it makes riding so much more fun and interesting...for me and my horse :)
I've also been scoping out places nearby that we don't have to trailer to just for an afternoon ride, too.
Riding in an arena and round pen tends to get boring fast.

Good luck~
Lisa

Vaquerogirl said...

WE do what we must! Good luck, Your pony looks very cute!

Train Wreck said...

Well we all have to do what is best at the time. At least you left on a good note, and feel good about your lesson. It will make it easier when you return. Good luck, with your riding situation.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Heehee-I don't blame you on that call!! I hate riding with a lot of barrel racers too-those girls are crazy-LOL.

I know about the shrinking daylight. I'm having a hard time getting anything done with horses and that is my "job". I'm moving my round corral back out to mom's so I can work horses there now. The days are just too short to haul stuff back and forth.

Callie said...

Wow! Another good lesson. Hope that arrangement works for you. Sounds like a reasonable offer to me! Good luck!