You’re doing it wrong!
On Wednesday I, Jumper Girl had my first lesson in a very, very long time (almost 2 years). I was both excited and terrified. I loooove lessons, but I knew the bad habits had been creeping in. I may have been imitating a motorcycle from time to time and my elbows seem to have developed an allergy to my sides. The pics have been burned.
The Very Opinionated Mare has been schooling fairly well, but there were those few little issues I wanted an outsider’s opinion on. Since I could finally afford it, DE recommended a coach and away we went!
It was fantastic! I was told (repeatedly) to focus on lifting my inside shoulder as my primary aid through turns. (Oops! I do know better.) To open up her stride at the trot in an uphill manner we worked on tightening my lower abdominals to shift the angle of my hip when I post, lightening my seat and allowing her to use her back more. She was sucking back a little when asked to do lateral work, so I was made to shift my weight to the outside of my stirrup and brought my lower leg back slightly. This stopped my knee from pinching and interfering with her shoulder on the back half of her stride. We’re far from perfect (don’t tell The Mare that!), but we’re moving better, are more relaxed and in sync and she’s waaaay more responsive. These teeny, tiny little adjustments in position (half an inch here, two degrees there) have made such a difference!
And then I see a video like this one.
And I just want to scream.
YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!!!!!
DE in: That poor freaking horse is so cranked in he literally can’t use his shoulders! He’s got some great natural swing to his movements but the aptly named “Asshat” is so heavy on his hands (and light on the leg) that the poor horse is being prevented from using his natural talent. PEOPLE LIKE THIS GIVE US DRESSAGE RIDERS A BAD NAME! (such as Asshat) Do we all remember the training pyramid?
Yes? ok good. Now look at where contact is! It’s way the frak in the middle – it’s not first on the list! People! Stop cranking your horses head around in an attempt to show a nice frame when your horse’s hind end is miles behind! Say it with me now: EVERYTHING COMES FROM BEHIND!
I’m thinking of starting a group for riders similar to Alcoholics Anonymous: Improper-Use-of -Training-Aids Anonymous. The whip is there to back up your leg! As in, when your leg is ineffective, you tap with the whip so that next time you get a response from your leg! GOOD GAWD THERE IS SO MUCH WRONG WITH THIS VIDEO I COULD GO ON FOREVER! (This is why I left the “We’re just angry about this one” post to JG, she’s a teensy bit more concise than I.) You can see the horse’s lips moving when he passes by closely. It’s like he’s saying “please help me! I’m such a pretty horse, just imagine the expressive gaits I would have if only I were allowed to move!”
Does anyone, ANYONE AT ALL, know what the rider was trying to accomplish by practically ripping that horses face off? Repeatedly?!