Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Videos of Our Last Show (First-1 and First-2)

So, I had to watch these about ten times or so before I could make a decision about whether to post them.  Ultimately, I decided to share.  This blog is meant to be a training tool and a log of our progress, and these videos accurately show where we're at right now, so they belong on here.  And you all have been so supportive and encouraging following along on this journey with me, I feel like you won't beat me up too much.  I really do appreciate you guys taking the time to leave me such kind and thoughtful comments, by the way.  

Some things looked better than they felt (which is great) and some parts felt better than they looked (which is... good to know).  The first time I watched these, I found myself leaning back in my chair, willing myself to sit up more.  I did a lot of cringing (sometimes just at the sight of myself in white breeches.  I can't believe I have to be seen in public in those things).  I yelled at myself to shorten my reins FERCHRISSAKES.  And I'm a little disappointed that the halts aren't quite "square," except for the very last one.  I also really wish Tucker didn't feel the need to look the judge in the eye while I'm saluting.

But after a few more views, I started to be a little less harsh on myself.  Our tempo is pretty consistent throughout.  He slows down a little in the first steps of each leg yield in First-2, but I get the rhythm back each time.  His walks are so much better. The right lead canter transitions are really off-balance at the moment, but I know how to fix that, and the right lead canter itself is actually lovely.  Tucker still does some head-bobbing here and there, but there are times where he's pretty steady in the contact as well.  I am still doing wonky things with my left hand, but once I compared it to some older videos, my hands are actually vastly improved.

So now that you see what I mean about me riding like a hunter rider in dressage tack... despite my initial despair, I actually think it's quite fixable.  I did a study last night on how dressage riders post to the trot, and in my next post I'm going to try to break down my posting vs. the rising trot videos I found online from some grand prix warm-up rings.  I'm actually not that far off (on the posting part, not on the GP part, in case that even needed clarification).

Happy viewing!


  1. We're always our worst critics. Sure there's a few bobbles and general things to improve but overall it's a nice picture. Steady and forward and calm, which is exactly what you should see at First. Good job.

  2. I think you guys look GREAT! That trot work is lovely, and the canter is really gorgeous. It's easy to be hard on yourself, but I think these tests are far from disastrous, and I think you should be very proud! :)

  3. I did the exact same thing when I watch the videos of myself a friend recorded on Saturday (shared on my blog) - yelling at myself to shorten my reins and cringing at my left leg & hands.
    You guys are miles ahead of me & doing awesome ☺☺☺
    Am really looking forward to your posting break down

  4. great videos - congrats again! i totally commiserate with the 'hunter in dressage tack' struggle (tho i don't come anywhere as close as you to sitting the canter haha) so i'll be really curious to hear your thoughts on breaking down the differences!

  5. I mean I'm a hunter rider but I think you look awesome :)

  6. I've always thought that changing disciplines is really tough. Even though hunter/jumpers ride on the flat, dressage is really quite different. The first (and only) time I sat in a dressage saddle it was SO weird.


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