Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Riding up in Heaven


"Riding up in heaven" is a term I heard Walter Zettl say while giving a dressage lesson. He explained it to mean "look up, carry yourself like you are there, and with luck your horse is perfectly round and forward." I didn't know what that felt like, but hoped someday to experience it. I am a novice dressage arena rider. I had about two years of lessons, 6 months of which were on Maddy. When I changed barns last summer, sadly left behind my amazing teacher. I practice things I pick up at various expos, dressage books and dvds, and I try to remember things that Michelle taught me.

Maddy and I have been working on a Walter Zettl suggestion of warming up with walk trot transiitions and alternating with a fast/slow trot. It is really helping her get on the bit, round up, and stay forward. I have been loving the progress, but I had no idea what I was about to get.

I started today with some liberty work in the round pen. Maddy was having fun doing her figure 8 patterns and rolling barrels with her knees. Her favorite thing. I would love to see a barrel racer take this horse into competition. She would make a beeline for the first barrel, promptly knock it over and proceed to roll it across the arena with her ears flopped out to the side. It is so funny to watch.

Anyway, I still had some time to tack up and do some arena work. We started out with Walter's coaching in my head. All of a sudden I had this amazing horse underneath me. She was so forward and round, I felt like I was floating in my posts. I yelled "I have a dressage horse!" "Maddy...this is dressage!" Today I rode up in heaven....and it was amazing. Thank you Walter...thank you Maddy. I am a very proud horse owner today.

15 comments:

Kate said...

Really lovely when you feel it!

Lori Skoog said...

You were able to visualize it and passed it on to Maddy. How sweet it is.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Isn't dressage great fun? I think what I most like about it is that when you have a pattern to follow, as opposed to just going in circles at different paces, you have to really concentrate on your communication with your horse, which makes you forget about any fears you may have while riding.

Drillrider said...

CONGRATS! I love it when you get those moments of totalling being in synch with your horse!

Drillrider said...

"totally"....

jill said...

happy for you!

what kind of saddle are you using?

allhorsestuff said...

Your heading scared me at first!

I am so glad for you to feel that amazing round-floaty-light horse!Madds is such a good girl and you have come so far with her!

There have been times when I was riding lessons with someone and they would "gasp", and stop teaching me...and then I knew Washashe had taken their breath away with what she was doing nicely!
Kac

Jean said...

What a great post for a cold, wet winter day! Makes me long to get into the saddle and ride myself to heaven.

It does make a difference when you can visualize how you want it to be and then get yourself to ride that way. Often the horse will be in heaven right with you.

Lulu said...

Very Awesome!!!

Now, about that barrel rolling....where are the pictures?

Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

The heaven reference scared me at first but then I read through and I'm so going to try this next time on Now Voyager! Thanks for sharing!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Maddy is beautiful. I'm so glad you had such a wonderful ride and it felt so good. I like Walter Z. a lot. I recently(for Christmas) got his whole set of DVD's I'm half way through them, if you get a chance to watch them I'm sure you would like them. You can even rent them from giddyupflix.(hope I remembered that right)

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Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

Good for you! I'd love to see some pictures and video:) - of the barrel pushing too:)

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