Also known as between laziness and tension in Dressage. Yay!
As we transition from BN Dressage tests to Novice Dressage tests, I know there is an increase in the expected level of carry at Novice. At BN, as long as the connection, rhythm, forwardness is fairly steady, your scores will be fairly good. In Novice, the judges start looking for just that TITCH more. The judge when I scribed at AEC’s brought up this notion, and it’s really stuck with me, as I look at the Novice tests.
On Tuesday, we ran through Novice B. While it was… fine. It kind of all lacked UMPH. May is mostly connected and mostly forward and mostly a lot of things, but I can’t quite get her the half step MORE. I need the hind legs to be more active in every gait. And, like most things, forward really is the answer.
However, nagging for forward is getting us both moving in the wrong direction. Common wisdom says pick up a whip. So I have. I grabbed a whip during our lesson and we did some canter work with the whip. Not even using it, but just holding it. We DID get better work.
But…. whips make May CRAZY. She gets tense, she gets running. My half halts DISAPPEAR. And she gets, quite honestly, straight up, pissed off at me.
But they DO help. I can pick up a whip, school something, and put it down, but I don’t know if it is a long term solution when it screws with our relaxation so bad. Or do I just ride with a whip more and hope she “gets over it.” I can rub the whip all over her body on the ground and even from the saddle. Seriously, she will fall asleep while I do this. But the second I go to just “ride” with it, she get’s tense and becomes 1,000lbs in my hands.
I guess this is just a rant and a request for any recommendations. Anyone have a whip shy horse that they rehabilitated?