Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Attack of the Dressage Arabian

I took Kat and a client's horse Elrond to a little schooling dressage show this weekend and have lots to say about Kat's rides but that comes in the context of last week's lesson too - so we'll hang tight for that.

We bought this gelding the beginning of June for a 10-year old girl. He's got quite a bit of excellent dressage training, a canter that basically just floats along, and a really good attitude. We took him to a play day a while back and he was the consummate professional.

He will occasionally show his Arab (so to speak) and take great offense to.... something. This usually results in a sideways spook or a bit of a porpoising canter, nothing that unseats the student too much, but definitely more opinion than necessary.

With that in mind (and perhaps some more devious machinations) I opted to ride him 1-1 before the student rode him.

From the first day I rode him before we even considered buying him (and before I started lessoning with Tracey)
 I didn't take the time in warm up to get him honestly in front of the leg because I didn't necessarily want to rev him up more than student would be able to handle, but it came back to bite me throughout my test.

In our first canter lengthening we had a moment where a machine outside the arena hissed and he said "NO THANKS" and darted sideways. Luckily the schooling show was such that I was able to bring him around and repeat the movement without penalty.

A photo they emailed us after we purchased him
 Despite the well-deserved 4 for the lengthening and a 5 for the 15-meter circle, we ended up scoring a 65%. There were some easy points I threw away because I was focused on getting him quiet for Student, and there were some pieces I'd like to put better together in training.

(However, student went on to win Jr high point at the show!)

We went for our first trot lengthening and he offered a single stride of canter before settling back to a really phenomenal lengthening, balanced and steady the whole way across. Definitely something to work on at home.

Another photo from years past
However, pending a lesson with Tracey on him, I think I'm going to show him 1st level this fall and see if I can collect a few good scores and get the horse some mileage.

I'm excited about it because he's such a different personality than Kat - so willing to go exactly where I put him and he tries really honestly. I have some things to teach him (ie moving FORWARD off the leg and not over-jumping everything in sight) but he has some things to teach me about balance and timing. I've always loved applying systems to different horses and learning about the system through the horse, so having this opportunity with a radically different personality is awesome!


  1. ooo showing elrond sounds exciting :D

  2. What a sweet sounding ride to be able to play with!

    1. He's amazing - I'm pretty excited about him

  3. He is so cute! Horses like him make me consider an Arab for my next horse. It is nice to have have the chance to work horses with such different personalities and mechanics!

  4. It's so fun to get to use new tools on a different horse to really gauge where you are. He looks like he's pretty fancy if you only push the buttons right!

    1. He's SO FANCY I want to learn to push all his buttons correctly