A Learning Curve

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I have a new obsession–dressage.  I have always been a “cowgirl”, since I got my first pony at age 3.  I was into barrel racing and even did NBHA for a short time, then my daughter got into rail and pattern classes and so I learned along with her.  Then we got into trail riding.  But there was something missing, I wasn’t feeling challenged, I wanted to feel like I was really RIDING.  I started looking into dressage and found that it appealed to me on so many levels, and I started looking for a trainer in my area.  It took a couple years, but I finally found the most awesome trainer anyone could ask for last spring.  She’s trained in classical dressage and she really knows her stuff.  And what does she compete on?  Not a fancy warmblood, but an awesome Paint , so she totally relates to me learning on my Quarter Horse mare.  Anyway, this is a huge learning curve for both of us as my mare was a western pleasure horse before, and so we’re spending a lot of time learning FORWARD.  I’m loving how worn out I am after each ride, I’m actually RIDING, and riding hard.  I’ve improved my seat and my communication with my horse, I’m thinking about everything I do while I ride, how she moves, how the aides coordinate, etc.  Some days I wish we would progress faster, but that’s not what dressage is about, and it’s good for both of us.  I’m hoping to compete in the future, but even if we don’t, I know I’ve become a much better rider.

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