Our first show season in western dressage was done months ago and now we are working on changing things for the next season. Our last show was a bit of a disaster-my nerves and self confidence were not that great and Mister was looking to me to be brave. I was not! So we worked on building confidence and changing the way I think. Putting more time into training and taking the pressure of showing off. My riding instructor rode Mister in the last show season-part of that was so that Mister could have a good show to end the season with, but also because I needed to see a different side of him and a different side of us. It seemed that was all I needed to see.
I rode in the big arena with another horse and rider who was totally fine with Mister and I going all over the place. It was a big step! I trusted that Mister wasn’t going to take off and I trusted that I was going to be able to handle it. I was calm and Mister was calm. When I started to get stressed out I was able to bring myself back down. Mister responded accordingly. As soon as I relaxed he did-instantly. I really only had to worry about myself, because as soon as I calmed down he did too, so I didn’t have to worry about calming him down too-that was always a stress I had!! It was so great to have a new tape to play in my head instead of the ones I had previously!! I also just hung out with him, something we have difficulty with since we can both be so impatient. But he was just as well behaved for me (when I was calm and relaxed and focused on just him) as was for anyone else.
Since then and along with a few other confidence building activities I have had the opportunity to take part in, my confidence has flourished! I have come leaps and bounds ahead of where I was this summer. I hope to be light years ahead of where I was last summer by next spring when I will be able to see if all the hard work I’ve put in has paid off! I am looking forward to the journey that this western dressage training takes us! I honestly cannot believe how far we’ve come when I think back on where we were even 2 years ago or when I started! I have always loved dressage, how beautiful it is and how effortless it looks and how much connection there is between horse and rider. That is what I want to achieve-harmony and dancing with my 4 legged partner! We are on our way and believe me it is a-lot of work to get it looking effortless!!
Dressage has given me a goal and a new found passion to work towards. I am not someone who is super accurate-I’ve always been a “it’s good enough” kind of person-my eye has always been in the big picture and not the details. Dressage is definitely in the details!! So it’s kind of funny that that is a sport I have chosen to pursue! But with Western dressage which I have found is just relaxed enough yet still pushes me to excel! I am loving the tests and building on the skills I am learning. Mister also really seems to enjoy the challenges in it!
Thank you for being a part of our journey!