Sunday, January 14, 2024
I bought another dressage book. I have gone through both of the paperback books I had purchased, and I wanted more. But this time, I was impatient and didn’t want to wait, so I bought one for my Kindle to be delivered instantly. It’s called Dressage for the Not-So-Perfect Horse: Riding Through the Levels on the Peculiar, Opinionated, Complicated Mounts We All Love by Janet Foy.
And I thought this would be fun to read as I try to keep my mind thinking forward about riding my horse in a dressage arena completing a dressage test.
My husband bought me a Kindle Scribe for Christmas, and I love it because I can write on it – like it’s a notebook. But it’s still a Kindle, so I can save books to it as well. I love it! So what better type of book to add to it than a Dressage book? It was just as expensive as a paperback, but I do like that it’s on the Kindle.
And even though I think my horse is perfect (he is to me), there is always something to learn, right?
Reading is Cool
I was excited to get this book because the opening paragraphs by the author were intriguing and inspiring. She writes very well. And it seems that many dressage books I have read are more like a manual. They use old and very large, dated words that make me feel I am reading something from the turn of the century rather than the present day.
And after I got through the first chapter of this book, which I loved, the book started to take a turn toward what I didn’t want. So, instead of continuing to read word for word, I started skimming through the book. Ok, this was better. I think that in the beginning, it started like an old-fashioned 1970s book on how to ride dressage, but then it got into the meat of the book, solving problems that could occur.
I started to enjoy the book again.
The best part about books is that you can take bits and pieces that you learn from multiple books and mold them into something special and personalized for yourself and your way of riding.
Putting the Words into Practice
So I put the Kindle down, returned to the first book I bought, and worked through the process of asking for a halt and back up, shoulder out and shoulder in. I literally stood in my living room, dressage whip in my right hand, left hand out as if I were holding on to the lead rope and asking my horse to bend.
This was one thing that I needed, a dressage whip. I have the stick and string type whips, but they are long and heavy. Too heavy for me to be lifting right now. The stick and string is a long tool, which makes it clumsy for me to try and use this type of whip while trying to get my horse to focus on me. So I found a dressage whip, actually it is marketed as a pig whip. But it’s a dressage whip. It’s lightweight and the right length I need it to be to work with Jesse.
I would lift up the dressage whip as if it were on Jesse’s midsection, where my leg would be if I were riding, and then ask him to bend, keeping his nose in my direction.
Sure, I look ridiculous, but by actually doing it, it helps me to be able to do it again when I am with Jesse. I like doing this because the more I do it on my own, the easier it will be to do with my horse. So I can pay attention to the horse while he is moving too. So many moving parts!
4 Ground Exercises
These are the first 4 exercises I want to perfect with Jesse from the ground while I get him and myself going again. Because these are exercises that will transfer when I am in the saddle. As well as exercises I can use with him when we are just walking around new places and if he starts to act up, I have something else to regain his attention.
So, I guess, long story short, I wasn’t a fan of my latest dressage book, but hopefully, I will be eventually. But like I said before, having a library to sort through will help me to find the answers that I am looking for in order to ride a dressage test accurately. That is why I am doing this, after all.
So the four ground exercises come first:
- Shoulder Out
- Shoulder In
Just 4 exercises. That is good. 4 things to work on first, and then we will go on to the next task.