Well, the dressage saddle we tried didn't fit. It actually fit Finn really well, but for me it was uncomfortable, pitched me forward, and my legs didn't feel supported correctly. Finn still looked pretty cute as a dressage pony though!

Today we had our first lesson back with our old instructor. The lesson started out with Finn stiff, resistant, evading the bit, swishing his tail, pinning his ears, and his head practically under my chin. I told trainer he's been going okay since we've been back, but that he is just so tense, which, in turn, makes me so tense. We started out long and low on a 20m circle, switching directions, and picking up a little bit of contact every so often, while still making him work long and low. After about 20 minutes of me riding as quietly as possible, trainer had me pick up more contact. This made Finn lift his head, swish his tail, and led to about a 5 minute argument of a battle of wills. Trainer then asked if she could hop on him to figure out what I was feeling. I told her I was just feeling so stuck. She's never ridden him before. It took her about a minute to get him soft, relaxed, forward, and using his back. She rode him for about 20 minutes and then I hopped on.
     Quick backstory... I've had a lot of trainers in my life, and very little consistency in terms of trainers since I've had Finn. In all of my time riding I've never been taught the concept of inside leg to outside rein. I've read about it, and heard about it in lessons but never really understood how to utilize the concept.
When trainer explained what I need to do...push him with my inside leg to my outside hand...I literally yelled out HOLY CRAP. I suddenly had a horse going straight, soft, forward, round, and using his back and hind end. There have been times when I've thought he was using himself correctly. I was so wrong. I may have had his head down, but I didn't have that true contact I felt today, and a straight horse. It was a really crazy feeling to feel your horse move the complete opposite of how you've felt them move for TWO YEARS. It all clicked. I've been riding him wrong for nearly two years. It was a huge breakthrough, and a concept that I suddenly got, and was able to maintain throughout the rest of the lesson. Maybe now we can build that top line!! After our lesson I hosed him off, let him eat a little grass, and Back on Track'd the hell out of him (I should buy stock in BOT...). Such a great day, love my horse, and so happy to be back at our barn and with our trainer. Trainer's also going to do a training ride on Monday night, then I have another lesson Tuesday night, then we have a dressage clinic this weekend. Woohoo!


  1. Sorry to hear the saddle didn't work out but I am sure you guys will be able to finds something that is more suitable for BOTH of you :) Glad to hear you had a breakthrough.

  2. I know that eureka moment! It's amazing and thrilling, but also a little bit disappointing, right? Like, with me, I thought I was doing soooo well, only to find out that I wasn't and could be doing better. Here's to improvement!

  3. Sorry the saddle didn't work out but the break through sounds amazing!

  4. Sorry about the saddle, but you will find something :)