Students Make Progress

Saturday morning was so successful.
Robin was able to take her trot work to another level, she was able to lift and lead her horse to lightness, and suspension in her extended trot. (Rather than driving).  We were both high as kites.  So spectacular!
Caitlin was able to yield her young horse on a circle and yield him down the long side off the inside shoulder for the first time and ended her lesson by taking off her saddle and bridle and rode him free without his tack. They are wonderful together.
Kaylee did perfect one tempi changes on Victress.  First time she asked was a couple of weeks ago and they were perfect and I let her try them again and once again they were perfect.   Pretty good since neither horse or rider had ever done them before.  Kaylee listens carefully and works to get it right.  Such a good student.
Angela and Tonka have a wonderful Piaffe, they are really dancing together these days.
Chelsa rode Tonka and did an amazing job bringing him through the back. She sits perfect in her own balance making it easy for a horse to understand her.  Great Day!!

True balance is necessary for clear communication between you and your horse.  When communication is not clear it is always the fault of the rider.  When there is confusion, the rider must go back to the basics and analyze her balance to sort out the problems.  Riding can be a paradox of contradictions and without an unbounded consciousness of your body movements on top of a bouncing moving horse it isn’t possible to communicate clearly.  A good trainer will learn to go with the flow of her horse,  feeling his signals.  Usually letting go will create a quiet space for both of you to reconnect and begin again.  Doing less usually gives you more.  It is necessary to maintain a self critical attitude all the way to Grand Prix.

 What is Classical Dressage  Series # One

Classical Dressage presents a horse and rider in perfect harmony with ease and grace.  The question is how is this accomplished?  In order to have a quiet graceful connection with your horse you must first figure out how to handle the motion of the horse.  Riders will handle the motion in many different ways. You will see riders sending it up through the body to a bobbing head, others will send it wiggling through the spine, others will take it into the hip and flip the hip.  All of these methods of dealing with the motion of the horse will shed it at the end of its rippling journey through the body, but it doesn’t present a Classical picture of graceful balance.  In order to present a classical picture you need to shed the motion down the thigh and out the knee, or allow the motion of the horse to fall your thigh and drop out your knee.  Also your connection with your horses mouth must be soft, yet asking and giving.  Whatever aids you choose to use must be invisible.  Thus a horse and rider with a Classical Dressage appearance.

All horses are trained in Classical Dressage the Aspirant Way at Isaac Royal Farm.   Each rider, rides her horse with a classical seat of elegant balance.  This technique allows you to become one with your horse and ride through the levels of dressage with ease and grace.  It creates a talented rider that can feel what her horse needs.   Carolyn Rose has written a series of books that explain this Classical Training technique in detail.

I am enjoying the summer training season.  Even though I am schooling my main horse, Victress, Prix St George, I start many young horses under saddle.  Carole says I”m very good at it since I have no fear and don’t care if I get a buck or a rear.  They actually come so rarely that when it happens it makes me laugh.  Carole says that’s why the horses don’t get upset because I think it’s fun.

Fun times as always at Isaac Royal Farm!!  This afternoon we had Robin on Rory and I was riding the delightful Tonka, a Belgian Morgan.  Tonka is patient to new riders to a point and then he shows his mischievious spirit and wants to make sure that you are paying attention.  Today he galluped right past the bench and down the ramp toward the stalls…..Carole was yelling “Duck!!!” which I did and we turned right around and got back out there (gate closed this time!).  Tonka didn’t notice that I was wearing my “This girl don’t take no bull” t-shirt – aha!

Robin got some excellent training under he belt on her half pass and ended the day Two Steps Forward!!!! Little victories seem big and always celebrated in our little dressage community.  This day today in Maine is to die for – about 70 degrees and a light breeze blowing.  As I put Tonka out to pasture Sandy and BethAnne were working on their horses.  This is the life! Yeehaw.

The Aspirant Technique’s

Code of Ethics

Ride with Balance

Ride the language of the horse

Ride with understanding

Ride with partnership

Ride with light contact

Ride with a listening ear (to your horse)

Ride with treats

Ride with patience

Ride with peace

Ride with happiness

Ride with joy

Ride with love

Dance with your horse with lightness

Ride without spoiling the spirit of your horse

Ride without anger

Ride without frustration

Ride without noise in your head

Quiet your spirit and ride…

Excerpts from Book Four

The use of the thigh as an aid,

merged with yielding are your foundation for

riding with lightness, ease and grace,

Added to respect, love and kindness.