Ok, so you don't do dressage. You haven't sat in an English saddle since those lessons when you were a kid. I get it. But, here are 5 reasons WHY you should just get over it and take a dressage lesson.
1. Dressage teaches you about balance. As someone who learned to ride on a very smooth Paso Fino, it was very easy to be a passenger. Dressage helped me be much more active in the riding process. I still don't trot on my horse, but I do much better when a spook comes along.
2. Dressage teaches you about contact. Dressage is helpful to learn about contact, not just with the bit, but all parts of your body.
3. Dressage helps you get your horse on your aids. Take a dressage lesson on your horse (or one that already knows dressage), how good are your aids?
4. Dressage is good exercise. Last dressage lesson I practically needed a bottle of oxygen (I don't do much rising trot). AND it is great for your core body muscles. After back surgery and 30 visits to physical therapy, Chiropractic, yoga and rising trot were the best bets for keeping me healthy.
5. Dressage is good for your horse. Dressage helps your horse be more supple, responsive and it builds the proper muscles. I would not consider myself a dressage rider, but I use many dressage exercises while training my horses.
I had a video of my lesson last Saturday, but it has frozen the video editing program at least 10 times, windows explorer had 4 errors and had to close and now, Youtube is down. I think I am being told NOT to publish this video. So here is a picture of Gina Odermott of Heavenly Ranch and I talking in her BEAUTIFUL new arena. There is still a lot of work to go on the barn, but they are building a top notch facility!
A final note on progress. When I used to board with Gina before I moved to Eugene, the only time I EVER saw Hoss (the horse I rode in the lesson) happy was when Gina was riding him. Hoss isn't what you call a nice horse, BUT my ride on him was amazing. He was all about the work (even with 2 years off), he was a little lazy, but he hadn't forgotten those aids. We are having more lessons in another week. Oh yeah, the jog was to die for. Seriously.