Dreamy has been going quite well lately. We spent seven weeks conditioning this year, from the middle of March until the end of April. I was very organized and methodical in my approach this year, more so than normal anyway, and she looks great. She feels great, too, which is exciting.
Our connection and acceptance of the bit/aids is 100% improved. Granted, it is something we have been working on for three years now, so I suppose it is ABOUT TIME I got my act together. LOL! ;-D There are times when she will get a little behind the bit, mostly at the stretchy free walk, but I finally have steady and consistent contact at the walk, trot, and canter! I think spending two full weeks in early March just walking really helped this. She is also finally accepting the right rein much more than before.
Our canter is much improved as well! We still do not have a traditional "normal" canter, but I think it has become much better. I am hoping for nothing less than 5s on our canters this year....I HOPE! Improving the contact and remembering to keep her straight/supporting her outside shoulder has really helped. I had one of my last USDF tests from 2010 professionally videotaped and watching that has REALLY helped me figure out what I am doing right/wrong. I feel like I need to videotape myself more often.
And I am also pretty happy with the improvement in our stretchy trot circle. She is actually stretching correctly INTO the contact, instead of just dropping her head and the reins go slack. This is big! Maybe I can score well on this movement this year! :-)
I think a lot of this is that I am finally starting to put the pieces together....sometimes I think I have a serious mental block when it comes to dressage. HA HA HA. And I am starting to be able to RIDE her the way she needs to be ridden.
I have only been able to take one lesson this month so far...but I am hoping to take at least one more. Once summer is here, I am hoping to lesson once a week. Right now with the end of school, my professional life is crazy!
We were originally wait listed for our first show but I just got a phone call tonight that we are in! We were first on the wait list, which helped! It is just a local schooling dressage show, but it is a great place to do the new 2011 tests for the first time and MOVE UP!!!! ;-D
So although I am not really sure we are ready, we are going to be doing Training 3, First 1, and a Prix Caprilli test! I was so excited to get in, but then it dawned on me....I have to memorize THREE new tests! AHHHHHHH! Ought to get my tests out and make some diagrams.......being on the wait list made me put off studying! Ahhhhhh! Wish us luck! :-)