Monday, August 11, 2014

Lesson #122: Dressage App

The primary purpose during Sunday's lesson was to continue to work on the dressage test we started. For me, I needed to work on collection for downward transitions and collection for the turns down centre line. Otherwise it felt like I was driving an 18-wheeler. It's funny how Bons really doesn't enjoy dressage because he's such a big guy that he has difficulty getting collected and I'm riding him for just that. hahaha! During warm up, we were puttering around the harrowed arena and approached a very slight indentation in the footing where the big lug had a panic at what it possibly was and did a bunny hop over.
Artist David R. Dudley
I slowed him down and took him back over at a walk, to assure him that it wasn't anything to be scared of. He absolutely refused to step over it and would continually walk around it. It took Molson to nonchalantly walk over it, to finally convince him that it wasn't going to jump out and eat him.

We moved on, from there, to the dressage test. Sheri couldn't locate her binder with the tests but earlier in the week, I had downloaded a new app (Android) called Dressage Lite and input the entire test onto it; there is a full version but at this point, I think I can make do. I'm a visual learner and reciting the call sheet didn't help because I still don't know where the letters of the arena are anyway. App to the rescue! I was trying to memorize the test through the app because it was a visual learning aid that played the steps over and over again and was even colour coded to help: red for canters, green for trot and blue for walk. For a free app, it was decent and I was able to input the test with a few modifications since they didn't have the type of move, listed.
Dressage Lite Android app
Despite the few adjustments to those steps, it did the job and we had the call sheet and a visual interpretation of what the entire test should look like! It is definitely a good tool to have and I would recommend it to anyone who's just starting out with dressage and trying to memorize their tests or get a visual of where they should be. Depending on how things go, I may eventually pay for the full/pro version but until then, this is a really great app for my purposes!

The lesson itself had some short comings that I'll need to continue to work on...
  1. Collection before the turn, up the center line--though the test actually asks for entry from A and not a what we were doing where we trot from E and turn up at A. Except the end where I am required to turn up the centre line...
  2. The canter transition (into) on the right rein needs work because I can't seem to get him into it when I want him to. The left is no problem at all though.
  3. Preparation for transitions (down, specifically) with plenty of half halts to prepare Bons.
In addition to the actual lesson specific items, I should continue to improve my personal fitness and schedule the week ahead with various activities like running and yoga. Also, my back and neck issues from the epic fall are still bothering me so I really need to be diligent about the daily physio exercises I've been prescribed. And how can any of this be bad? I might just have a looser dress come September, for the wedding!

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