Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Lesson 2 of 2: Motion is Lotion

For my second lesson on Sunday we only did a half hour with our dressage instructor since Tia has already gone once.  Tia's usually a pretty easy going mare, not super demonstrative or emotional, but man the look she gave me when I went to tack her up again was pure evil.  She was not a happy camper.  It was very close to the look she gives when you try to pull her mane.
Pic from before my jump lesson, forgot to put with the other post

TS, our dressage instructor/chiro, has adjusted Tia before but never seen her ridden.  As I warmed up at the walk, she talked about how a lot of hunters tend to be very stiff and locked in their neck.  They go in that hunter frame, but don't use their neck correctly and their neck muscles tend to be very ropy and stiff.  And unfortunately Tia is a good example of that. She's happy to go along in a hunter frame, but if you ask her to really round up and go in a more dressagey way she actually comes up lame.  TS said that's because she's trying to use muscles that she hasn't in a very long time and has to change her way of going.  TS said that the only way to get her to change and get through it was to get her to move correctly. Our plan for the lesson was to work on unlocking Tia's neck and trying to develop a deeper, dressagey frame.
My trainer said that with her long whiskers Tia looked like a goat, so we started calling her goat mare.  I did take the not so subtle hint and clip her.

TS had me go into the trot, and do a lot of the same exercises she had me do with McKenna last time.  Post on the inside diagonal, push Tia out, exaggerate the bend.  To the right Tia was lot better than the left and after a couple times around the ring she really started to soften and give.  It was like once we worked through the "scar tissue" as TS put it, she unlocked this gorgeous flowy stride.  She was super light in my hand and I could feel her back come up and start swinging. I'm really sad we didn't get pics or video of it.  The canter was the same, I could feel her come up to me and she had (at least it felt like) this ground eating, hack winning stride. TS checked her neck again after the end of the lesson and said she could feel a difference in her neck muscles even after that short of a ride.  Made me feel pretty happy!


  1. seems really interesting mixing the trainer and chiro perspectives!

  2. What a nesting to have your instructor be a chiro too, so much extra insight into the how & why. So awesome!!!!