Horse Riding and Dystonia. Progress Report 8

This week, in contrast to last, improvements!

Last week, the family made a right muck up of it’s riding activities.  I forgot half a dressage test (never done that one before) and the Offspring did unscheduled fast cantering and falling off.  A complete disaster.

So we approached this week’s riding with some trepidation!

We’ve been out together, but decided to share the arena, with the instructor focussing on my daughter, in the light of her unexpected flying lesson.

This has worked very well, as its given me time to work and practise things on my own, in a safe space.

I’ve spent quite a lot of time riding without stirrups, which I prefer as I find it more comfortable. I know many people don’t care for this, but I find it very helpful in maintaining a deep seat.

I am the transition queen, so I’ve been doing this up and down the gaits, on short changes, around circles. I’ve also been attempting figure of eights, cantering round the ends of the eights, trotting diagonally across X, then pushing up to canter again, at the next corner. No one knows if Tosca can do flying changes, so I thought I might look at doing these types of exercises again, but based on circular figure of eights, gradually reducing the trot steps across X. Any advice on this welcome.

Today, I have managed to get Tosca into some of the corners on the right rein, do some (not very straight) leg yielding and (I’m very proud of this) a couple of pirouettes, in walk. My daughter was walking and trotting her pony in a circle around me and I thought “I would really like to see what she’s doing, but I can’t move my head, so how can I see?”. Then, a brainwave. Why don’t I see if I can get Tosca to move her forelegs around a circle, keeping pace with Snowy, then I can see what’s happening. And we did it! Hopefully, this wasn’t a fluke.

Next up (feeling now very pleased with myself), rein back. Forwards five steps, backwards five steps. We did this about six times, consecutively, all with a gentle ask and a bit of weight re-distribution! Quarter turn on the forehand? No problem.

Frankly, this little riding school pony has amazed me. She has been hiding her light under a bushel. Or maybe its got something to do with all the horsey treats I’ve been giving her … If so, they’re having a great effect and I might try some myself. They certainly smell good.

Spillers Meadow Herb treats for breakfast anyone?

Have a great week.


About Dystonia Girl

Horse rider who loves to blog and do lots of other things too. Lives with, but is not defined by, a rare neurological condition called Dystonia.
This entry was posted in Dressage, Dystonia, Horse Riding and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Horse Riding and Dystonia. Progress Report 8

  1. All sounds very positive 🙂
    Regarding the preparatory exercises to flying changes – your canter’s quality is the key here. When you sit quietly in canter you need to feel she is taking you forward easily yet still feel like you could bring her back to a balanced walk whenever you wished and then canter again in balance.
    Ideally, she needs to be able to do a comfortable simple change first i.e. canter-walk-canter (for example canter left-walk 1-2 steps over X -canter right).
    She does sound like a great horse to learn on. Glad to hear your daughter stayed in the saddle this time too!

    • Hi Aspire
      Yes, I think I’m starting to improve. Still struggling with the leg yielding, as I’m fighting to keep my head straight whilst I do this, but Tosca is at least starting to respond to my terrible aids, bless her. I’ll have a go at the canter-walk-canter exercise and see what happens. Tosca can certainly do walk-canter. I’ve never tried canter-walk, so that will be something new for us. That’s one of the many things I love about riding – there’s always something new to learn. We’ll be away on holiday for a few weeks, after tomorrow. I just hope we don’t lose momentum. Thanks again.
      Best wishes

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