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Yesterday we had a lesson with a pure dressage instructor and it went really well! She seemed to really like Scottie and could see huge amounts of potential in him – which is always great to hear! If you follow us on social media, you may have already seen bits of this post.
Despite how far Scottie has come even in the past 6 months, he is still behind the leg, slightly bent, struggling with our right canter lead and not properly engaging his hind end. However, she gave us exercises in our hour session to help fix all these problems -although it helped that Scottie was abnormally forward that day!
The first thing she did was change my position. She said my position was blocking him from using his back properly, just the simple change of bringing my bum under me more, instantly helped with this.
The focus of our lesson was to get him moving off my leg and keeping him parallel so he could engage his hind end. These exercises worked really well and Scottie was going beautifully. However, after a while he got tired and had a few tantrums, which she gave me a new method to tackle, because she said Scottie is “highly intelligent” and knows how to get what he wants in these situations, without you realising he’s getting his own way!
We next addressed the right canter lead. She said it isn’t good enough to just get the right canter lead, he needs to use his right hind to get that canter lead. So she had us circle in trot and really try to bend him to the right and when I asked for canter, tap his right hind with my whip. It did work, but was very inconsistent. Usually when we get the right lead, we stay on it. However, where he was being asked to get it and work properly, even when we did do it, it didn’t last long or he went disunited. However, she said this is because he thinks if he goes wrong enough times, he’ll be able to stop because he knows what I’m asking him to do, but it’s hard so he doesn’t want to do it.
It was a really good lesson and I will definitely be using her again! It has also given me lots of things to work on and she summed it up perfectly; I need to be a trainer, not mummy.
Hopefully I can work on this and maybe see a difference in our next dressage test!