Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pieces of Second and Third Level

An issue we're dealing with right now: Test Anxiety. No, not me, Delphi. During her session with Karen Brown this week, I called a test for Karen and we discovered that Delphi tenses and loses her focus during an "official" dressage test, completely falling apart and going against the hand. The solution? If one is riding a horse that is less than courageous and tends toward tension, said rider should be extra courageous herself and remain confident and relaxed. To achieve this Karen suggested talking or even singing to Delphi while I school, which would help keep me relaxed as well. Of course one must keep the core engaged, the shoulders wide and back and the pecs and lats (armpit muscles or "elbows down") engaged, even while "relaxed." Another very helpful exercise to control the shoulders and haunches and keep the horse straight is to ride into each corner in shoulder in, halt, then ride out of the corner.
The video shows movements required at Second and Third levels. The uphill tendency comes and goes but that is to be expected at this point; there ARE moments of uphill tendency shown, of which I'm proud. Now, if we can just work on staying confident and relaxed....we shall advance.