Bad Riding

I’m trotting around on Ava today, and it suddenly strikes me…. I totally just screwed Ava up. She has suddenly turned into a massive ball of tension, ears laid back, and her neck is about 3 inches long. What the heck? All I did was ask for more forward! I have this moment of panic as I realize I’m clueless how to fix this.

I try leg yielding in hopes she’ll release some tension.


More leg? Her neck actually gets shorter. I give with the reins, but they just hang with big loops while her head and neck remain unnaturally arched. Circles? Ava refuses to bend, and comes to a crawling jog trot no matter how much leg I apply.

I don’t know what to do!!!!!

I boot her super hard. She bucks. I boot her again. She bucks again, but this time she actually moves forward with some energy.

It took me 10 minutes to get Ava to relax and use her neck again. I don’t even know how. Maybe Ava just got sick of trotting around like that and relaxed her neck.

Afterward, I’m walking Ava around to cool her out and I start wondering if everyone feels that overwhelming sense of just not being up to the task. I watch the cool confident riders and always think they look so in control and know exactly what to do. But what if they’re riding around feeling insecure and hoping nothing goes too wrong…

Whatever… I get bored being all alone at the barn day in and day out. Sometimes I think silly stuff.


4 thoughts on “Bad Riding

  1. Oh… I so wish you lived closer and we could ride together! Not sure that would help the issues of not knowing what to do sometimes but at least we could look at eachother and make one another feel better that NEITHER of us know! When I first started riding dressage I was afraid to try anything outside a lesson because I thought I would screw something up. I probably do but I guess my horse and I work together and sometimes we get it right and sometimes we don’t. In many ways we are creating our own private dialect of the dressage language.


    • It’d be soooo nice to have a riding buddy. Especially for those days things don’t go well!

      I love this sentence you wrote, “In many ways we are creating our own private dialect of the dressage language”. I’ve always thought of it as just the dressage language, but you’re right… Each one of us creates our own specialized language with our horse. Which is really neat. I never thought of it like that before. 🙂


  2. You didn’t screw Ava up. She was being a pill. I still go back to what the clinician said to you, “piss her off!” If her neck is two inches long, she is sucking back. I think (FWIW) that you did the right thing by booting her. Do whatever you have to do to unstick her. The solution to Ava’s tricks is probably always more forward, transitions, and bending.

    I ride alone too. Today, Sydney was a PILL. A neighbor walked by and served as excellent eyes on the ground. I’ll take what I can get. :0)


    • I think you’re right, Karen. That was one of the things covered in the Goodrich clinic – that I need to be more confident in my riding. Not begging so much and not second guessing myself all the time. I’m finding it challenging to put into practice.


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