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Friday, November 6, 2009

Do you demand quality?

Another scheduled post - I'm off to the LOVE 50 mile ride!

On Sunday (10/25/09) I went to a dressage clinic, put on my by trainer. I went for the following reasons:
  1. CHP was going to be there to answer any and all questions about trailers and the road (there is a post scheduled on this topic, or it's already been published.....since I'm writing and scheduleing these during the picture challenge, it's hard to keep track!)
  2. There was a braiding demonstration which was going to be VERY useful for my show on November 1st
Yes, I did all the above and learned some great things, but the most important thing I got out of the clinic was a sight picture of what I am training for.

After watching the clinic and the horses being round, on the bit etc. I came home and rode. What a difference! Just watching others ride helped me to ride better. Farley was confused because after 2 weeks of sufficient performance, I was all of a sudden asking her to be "better". She resisted, she threw a hissy fit, when asked to flex and be rounder - she counter offered with the giraffe head. But then, she submitted and gave me a more brilliant performance than had before.

I need to challenge her to get better and I need to get picky as she gets better and better.

I usually evaluate Farley's performance on - did she do the task? Did she get round when I asked? Did she move off my leg? But here's the problem. I'm not evaluating quality. She can do it better, I'm just not asking. I'm not asking for a grand prix performance by any means, but I am should ask her to get a little bit better everytime we practice.

How much better? My trainer likes to use the 1% rule - every session that you work on something, try and get it 1% better than it was last time.

Without watching others perform dressage, I easily fall into the rut that Farley and I are doing "OK" and the level of current performance is sufficient. Ie - I can't evaluate quality because I don't have a sight picture or vision that I'm trying to accomplish. This problem is compounded because I am one of the better riders at my stable. I'm not watching anyone better than me ride on a regular basis. As a result I get complacent and I don't push my horse.

1 comment:

  1. That is why I so enjoyed my few lessons. During those sessions I was pushing, pushing, pushing for the try, then the real thing. I find in sessions on my own I lose my drive and focus. I'm good at trail work that way, but not lesson activity. I need someone to say "don't let her by with that", move her over to the rail, go here, use your legs, etc etc..." In short, I LIKE A DRILL INSTRUCTOR. Sorry my lessons are done for the year, but time to step back for a few months.

    Good luck on your show, I'll be waiting to hear how you did. ~E.G.


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