(That is how my fiancé refers to what I’m learning in my riding lessons. “Hon, I can’t tell who’s doing dor-sahj and who’s not. It all looks the same to me.”
“I’m sorry, who’s doing what now?”
“Dor-sahj. Isn’t that what you’re learning how to do?”
“Yep. Dor-sahj. Dressage for dorks.”
Seriously, my life.)
Learning dressage on a stubborn Appaloosa who used to be a gaming horse is fun. This week, I learned:
- My circles are actually round and the right size. Plus!
- Cinnamon can’t or won’t (I haven’t figured out which yet) halt square to save his life. Minus.
- I can make the stubborn Appaloosa bend! Plus.
- I’m really, really good at getting into the corners. Big plus.
- Roughly 90 percent of the time, I can’t make Cinnamon go with any sort of forward. But when I ask him to halt, he fights me. I mean, he halts, sort of. But he fights the contact so much, we’re literally playing tug-of-war for three minutes until he gives up and softens. Minus. Weirdo.
My trainer ran me through Intro A and Intro B in my lesson on Monday, and they were fine, halting issues notwithstanding. I could do that in a show, probably. Having been to a few local schooling-level dressage shows – which is all I have the stomach for and almost certainly all I will have the ability for – they don’t look too intimidating. Not a huge turnout, and nobody’s watching you ride but the judge, your trainer and anyone you bring as a cheering section. I could handle that. That said, I’m glad I’m taking a year to learn how to not be a hot mess in general, but on principle, it’s all stuff I can do: working trot, medium walk, free walk, circles, change rein.
I’m also stupidly excited to run through a couple of Intro tests on a stubborn, chubby Appaloosa. Not even kidding. Living the dream.