Dressage Boot Camp

Letterman has been doing quite well as he has returned to work. We had been working very hard on getting him supple in his body before his time off and thankfully he retained most of that. I have felt that the walk and trot have been good but the canter has been tough. I have been able to get him softer in the bridle in the walk and the trot by being able to soften his neck allowing me access to his body. In the canter he just wants to block me.

We headed off with Letterman, Gib and Junior on for company. Letterman was first up and came off the trailer a bit jazzed up. He was freaked out and I should have not tied him to the trailer..famous last words. Something spooked him and he broke the snap on the lead rope and got loose. Thankfully he just took a tour of the sand ring and let me catch him after a few minutes. Letterman…gosh he is such a brat.

We started out really working to get him straight in his body when going left. Little bit of counterbend and lateral work to move him from the right leg to the left rein. Focusing on making sure that I was straight and not letting him just grab the left rein. Do I have him on the right rein and can I control the right shoulder?

Worked on picking up that right lead. Using a bit of an overbend going right so I can slid him off my right leg. Scooping with my hip to pick up the canter. I need him to be more available in his right side so that is something to work on in this canter.

The left canter was a hot mess. I had been doing a bit of counterbend but it wasn’t working. He was going so high he could just avoid me. She got on him and said that she was wrong and the issue was more of a left rein issue. Every time she touched the left rein he inverted or grabbed it and ran. She worked and worked on it with a bit of success but that was my homework.

Overall, I was thrilled with Letterman. My blog readers know what a journey he has been especially on the flat. He feels so good you all just wouldn’t believe the difference. He used to be so hard in his mouth and just stiff. Now he feels so soft and I can move him all around with just a light touch of the leg. It is all going the right direction.

I wrote about Gib on my makeover blog so I will like you there to go have a read.







One response to “Dressage Boot Camp

  1. Joanne Murphy

    I have a throughbred just like letterman… he was stiff, unturnable, very stiff back, up and down canter, tail swishing, running to the side to avoid work, occassional rearing,jumped inverted and after 6 years he has come around to be a very nice horse to ride. I ride him at the training level and our one outing this year has been his best…Unfortunately he developed a bog spavin in his left hock, but icing and rest has helped..most of the swelling is gone and he hasn’t taken a lame step…but I commend you for the work you did with this horse.. I almost gave up… but I am glad I didn’t..no draw reins.. neck stretchers… just one day at a time

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