Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Paddington: Future Grand Prix Dressage Haffie?

Fuzzypony and I have been riding as much as possible in preparation for the upcoming dressage show this weekend. We haven’t been doing lessons due to time constraints, but I’ve got enough video and photos to know what I need to work on, so we’ve been muddling along fairly well for the past few weeks.

One of the things we’ve been working most on is shoulder-in to the right. He’s heavy on the left rein (ok, I hang on the left rein) but I have a hard time getting him solidly into the right rein. Enter shoulder in. Unfortunately, Paddy has a really hard time going this direction. He can do a leg-yield quite nicely, but asking for the minimal crossover that’s required of a shoulder in is just a hard concept for him. In reality, he knows what I want, but getting the LH working properly is just hard, since it’s his weaker hind leg. He often responds by either walking during an attempted trot shoulder-in, or getting a little light in the front end. I’ve always sent him forward when he gets a little light, because I don’t want him to think that picking his front feet up off the ground is an acceptable evasion.

So yesterday evening Fuzzypony and I were working in our grass arena, and Paddy and I were having a little discussion about left shoulder in. I felt him get a little light, so I sat up and closed my leg… and suddenly his butt dropped about two inches and his shoulder came up another two, and he was doing the most amazing elevated trot! It happened so quickly I wasn’t sure what to do, just kept my leg on, and then we were – not even joking – trotting in place! Y’all, I have never done a piaffe before, but Fuzzypony swears that’s what Paddy was doing. He felt so powerful under me – back up, haunches under him, like I could move him any way with just a thought… absolutely an amazing feeling. Fuzzypony tried to get her camera out to get it on video, but he only did it for a few steps before he downshifted to walk. And of course since I had NO idea what I was doing, I couldn’t get him to do it again - which is probably for the best, since piaffe is not a required movement in Training Level Test 3.

Even adorable when he's evading.

I’ve already talked to hubby about sending Paddy to my dressage trainer to be put into training full-time. He’s humoring me, I think. Obviously we have about a million miles to go between our rides this weekend and an actual Grand Prix test, but maybe he’s got the talent to do it?

Public Service Announcement: Paddington reminds you that you should never believe everything you read on the Interwebz, especially given that today is April 1. ;)

13 comments:

  1. I swear as I was reading your first paragraph I was thinking "noooo, light in front GOOOOOD!!" haha! Of course rearing is not so good but from what you were describing it sounded like he was trying to arrange his body in the right way, and lightness up front is a very necessary part of that :) Go Paddy go!

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    1. Tragically, today is the first day of April, which means any content in this blog post may or may not be true. I'm afraid we'll have to wait a bit for an actual piaffe ;)

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  2. Isn't it the most amazing feeling?
    I didn't realize either that "light in front" was a euphemism for "starting to rear"!
    Definitely going to be a GP Haffie. I have faith.

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    1. He's never actually gotten his feet up off the ground, lol! Alas, any GP movements will have to wait, seeing as how today is April 1. ;)

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  3. He sounds like he could definitely do it! And that must have been such a cool feeling, now you know he can do anything! ;)

    I've never thought about "light in front" being related to rearing, but I can see how that works. Interesting....

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    1. I actually think he CAN do it, but given as how today is April 1, he may or may not have ACTUALLY done it. Yet. ;)

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  4. Why do they always think going up is a good evasion lol

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    1. He just sort of gets stuck and can't figure out where to go, so up seems like an answer to him. All good though, we're still keeping four on the floor.

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  5. Too funny! In all seriousness though, it would be pretty awesome to see a Grand Prix Haffie!

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    1. There IS a GP Haffie... TOF Star Wars. So adorable. So awesome!

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