Sunday, September 11, 2011

Riding Photos 9/7/11

I was able to get some photos of a recent ride. Since my training epiphany that I should be using a lot less hand and a lot less aid, Sofie had been much more relaxed and consistently quite round and responsive. I actually enjoyed watching her in the mirrors when I rode in the indoor! The ride before this I did a lot of transitions, but this ride I mainly trotted after a short warm-up. Sofie was a bit stiff the day these pictures were taken, and she wasn't quite as focused outside. But I was pleasantly surprised (actually thrilled) with the pictures. For not being at her best, she really improved throughout the session.

This ride was basically trot work, with a few transitions, halts and some changes of direction. I did some bending work but very few circles. She wasn't reaching into my hands quite as well as she has been, but I think these pictures show the way I'm trying to ride.

Ignore my equitation. It is abysmal. All I can say for myself is that I do better when I have mirrors! Just look at Sofa, she's a lot prettier than I am in these pictures.

The warmup. She's not really tracking up or using her back yet, but she's "Sofa round" and working out of her stiffness.

Starting to get some semblance of actual dressage-resembling-work.

Sofie says, okay, I'll fall on my forehand if you'll collapse forward...

Beginning to use the correct muscles. This is Sofa round - very much in front of the vertical, but with a relaxed neck and definitely a change from inversion.
Sofie stretch!

She's beginning to have a really nice shape to her neck, all on a pretty loose rein.

I like this one. She almost looks like an Andalusian cross, or something! Love the impression of power. Love the loose reins, also.
This is just the ultimate picture. Look at her neck! The positive muscling, and just her whole shape. She's round over her entire topline, using herself properly, and all without heavy contact or a ton of circling. This is voluntary. This is just letting it happen.


  1. Very nice work to get to where you are now - she looks great!

  2. Awesome photos!!! You guys look great!!

  3. Did you know that you are my heroine? I love what you have done in getting Sofie to get her head down. She looks fabulous! I just wish/hope I can do the same for my Pippin!

  4. Aww thanks! I just try to ride in the way that works for my horse. She's a good teacher...