Connection

I find that understanding “connection” in dressage is the hardest part. Like, I know that we should have communication with the horse through the reins, that the horse should seek the contact, that the horse should happily follow wherever i want to put the bit…

But that doesn’t really encompass what connection means. That’s just a small part of the mechanics of it.

You also have to be straight. But that means supple enough that you can get the horse honestly straight, and that’s hard.

And then you need forward, but not TOO forward. It has to be balanced, sharp off a light aid (but not too sharp), and listening to your seat.

Calm, yet loaded with energy.

And the horse needs to be strong enough to stay straight and forward consistently, which always seems to take a while.

And once you have all those pieces in place, then you can somehow mix it all together to get varying degrees of connection.

The “connection” I mean right now is the one where the horse is powered up and forward, balanced, supple, straight, and you can *feel* the power and balance in your hands and your core. It’s spring loaded and yet easy to wait. You can go any direction, at any speed, or halt, with just a thought.

This is the second horse I’ve gotten to this level of “connection” with any type of consistency. And yet, here I am, struggling to teach it to a 3rd horse. It always feels like dumb luck that anything remotely correct happens.

Midget Fury

I always feel so ridiculous when i have to get after a horse. Here I am, swatting at their knees (because that’s as high as I can reach) while this big oaf is desperately attempting to avoid my ineffectual slap.

Big being a relative term…