View Full Version : Your best dressage moment of 2007 (I will start...)

Dec. 21, 2007, 12:12 PM
Last night, I was riding, and it started to sleet like crazy. (I have an outdoor arena only...)

For whatever reason, my 5 y.o. chose to remain very focused in spite of the weather. We've been working on shoulder-in for awile, and he has been gradually improving as he gains strength.
Maybe the weather actually inspired him, because last night as I was doing shoulder-in down the quarter line, I gave him a little nudge with my inside leg. Instead of trying to escape through my outside aids, it was as though the lightbulb just went off in his head. He stepped under with his inside hind, and his front end came up just like a jet ski- and he didn't lose his balance and end up in my hand! I got about 6 of the most perfect steps- and by this point, I couldn't even SEE the other end of my arena. I know I'll remember that shoulder in forever.....

Anyone else care to share?

Dec. 21, 2007, 12:18 PM
Mine would be about 3 months ago my horse was very forward but for once without the tension and he did about 8 strides of what I think was a huge medium trot. He was light and balanced and just floating. Even half of that will be nice when we get there.

Dec. 21, 2007, 12:24 PM
Walking into the awards ceremony as Champion . . . I was crying.

8 months before this moment, I was thinking where on earth I could retire an 11 year old, 17.2 ADD gelding.

Then, of course, my perfect moment was not quite as Disney as it could have been- he spent the awards ceremony in reverse, trying to rear, and I had to abandon my victory gallop halfway through. Oh well! I got to do it again the next day, and we made it around twice!

Dec. 21, 2007, 12:25 PM
NEDA Fall CDI in September, Intermediare I, 70%+s from all 5 "I" judges. Still gives me goosebumps. :) Swept the whole Small Tour that weekend (ah-mazing), but that 70% ride takes the cake.

Dec. 21, 2007, 12:37 PM
compared to that, my best moment ain't much but it still was great for me. it was just a wonderful ride on a wonderful horse.


Dec. 21, 2007, 01:17 PM
I was doing spirals on a big green warmblood, at a trot, and we just started getting them really good and smaller, he wsas bending well, and perfect on the bit and under himself and suddenly he was just trotting around almost around my inside leg in the tiniest circle, all from my seat bones. I can still feel and imagine it. I got so excited, I almost fell off. I was saying to my trainer, who had turned away (of course!) "lookit! lookit!" and she turned back and saw it. kept the thing perfect coming out of the spiral too. Excellent day.

see u at x
Dec. 21, 2007, 01:41 PM
For years, I was stuck when it came to riding my horse. Long story as to why, but suffice to say, we just didn't have the training that we both really needed to move forward. I've had some nasty spills with her, all shortly after the canter departure, so I've struggled a LOT with my confidence, and because of my fear, had not cantered a horse for over a year.

When I began taking lessons again this summer, I started off riding a 30 y.o. TB school horse. We had a "love/hate" relationship - I loved her, she hated me. :lol: I didn't take it personally, because she was a schoolie and I guess after all those years, I wouldn't be all lovey dovey either. She maybe didn't look as pretty and polished as some of the younger horses, but this mare was a superstar and did everything asked of her. (I think I actually enjoyed it when she'd try to bully me around a little, because it showed how much spunk she had at her age!)

After a couple of weeks of lessons, my instructor told me that she wanted me to canter. I struggled getting the departure from sitting, so she made me get into two-point, and for the first time in forever, I cantered around the arena like I was on top of the world. Sadly, this mare died just last month, and although I hadn't been doing lessons on her for a while (I'd switched to riding my instructor's dressage horse back in August), I cried, because this mare had given me the best gift during a somewhat rough year - she'd helped lay the first brick in the foundation of giving me my confidence back. For that, I'll always be grateful.

Dec. 21, 2007, 01:57 PM
Me selling my horse with in 2 weeks and then finding the the love of my LIFE one month later! My 8 yo Dutch/TB, Royal Guardian aka "Gabe"! He has given me so much love! He truely is my "Guardian"! LOVE You "Gabeys"!!

Trixie's mom
Dec. 21, 2007, 02:01 PM
i posted a few weeks ago about a perfect flying change...

and having Trixie be able to show again after a double colic surgery...i've very fortunate!!

siegi b.
Dec. 21, 2007, 02:04 PM
For me it was definitely watching my horse win the 4-year old FEI Dressage Championship in Lexington, KY this past September.

Waterloo S. E. had qualified in 18th position, so I didn't exactly get my hopes up. But then he went and won the warm-up on Friday with very good marks (8.14), and repeated his feat on Saturday with a HUGE win and 8.62 points!!

Dec. 21, 2007, 02:59 PM
Qualifying my little Orlov mare for winter regionals just 5 months after an operation for what was potentially a career ending injury. The op was all or nothing - it would either work well or not at all. Thankfully she went for the first option and was sound within 2 weeks of the op. :D

Dec. 21, 2007, 03:39 PM
I have two if that's okay
1. My horse, that was blinded in his left eye this past winter, and I did a tack free dressage demonstration for a large group of people off our farm for Memorial Day. It was a big accomplishment for both of us.

2. I was riding my horse sans tack in the threatenings of a storm (thundering, can't see lightening, but high winds) he spooked and bolted about 4ft into the air, my balance was compromised. I leaned and whispered 'whoa' into his ear and immediatley he calmed down and continued as normal :cool:

Dec. 21, 2007, 03:54 PM
Those three lessons a week are paying off.

After I shattered my ankle last year I had to start from scratch on a really old school horse. I put my horse in training and now take three lessons a week.

Things that were so hard a few months ago are now things I use as part of my tools.

Of course, just when I am feeling competent, we raise the bar.

Dec. 21, 2007, 04:06 PM
After feeling like all I was doing was bouncing around at the canter "hoping" for a flying change. I have got it! Last ride, we did a smooth foward (but not to big) change once each way on the 1/4 line. Heaven!

Now we just have to conquer the straight long diagnol line, LOL;)

Dec. 21, 2007, 04:16 PM
There were a number of wonderful moments in 2007, but the one which stands out is when my mare Dame d'Allemagne scored 92.2 % in Materiale - made my day, week and month !

Happy Holidays, everyone !


Dec. 21, 2007, 05:44 PM
A few weeks ago I was working my Missouri Fox Trotter gelding, The Hindenburg, just as the sun was going down. His previous owners used him for coon hunting, so anticipating the chase he tends to get a bit hyper when ridden after dark. We have been schooling the working trot for two years as his gaits are a bit "soft". A deer ran out from the woods in front of us he picked up his head and for about twelve strides he took solid actual trot steps. I'll never forget it.

siegi b.
Dec. 21, 2007, 05:45 PM
Wow, Elly!! That's enough to make your year!! :-)


Dec. 21, 2007, 07:02 PM
Congratulations, everybody! How wonderful to read about all these good (and great!) moments.
For me, a very small one...getting some willing collection in trot from the new, "diificult" jumper mare which nobody thought had it in her. Of couse in the next ride she did her best to break my nose, so the swelled head was of very short duration. So we learn!

Dec. 21, 2007, 07:06 PM
Yesterday I had one of the best rides of the year on my homebred 7 year old. For the first time this year, he gave me 3-4 perfect pirouette steps to the left without dropping his shoulder or trying to squeak out his hind end. It was a beautiful moment. :cool:

Dec. 21, 2007, 08:36 PM
My best moment of 2007 was being able to get back onto my horse after 8 weeks when I broke my leg - hurt like H but it was the best feeling to be back on him.

Funny thing is - our riding has improved tenfold since then and in hindsight the fall ended up making us a much better team. I read a lot - watched a lot of lessons, absorbed a lot more and am a much better rider because of that fall. My horse too seems to try so much harder and really seems to appreciate me - he hated everyone else who rode him while I was off.

Dec. 21, 2007, 08:49 PM
I've had so many sublime moments this year that it is hard to pick just one.

It could be the ride on Dan, where I had something like 18 minutes to work him before the sun went down and I tacked up post haste and trotted up to do some laps around the big pasture and he just... went. I still cannot describe it, it was like an out of body experience. The perfect rhthym, the trees rushing by, feeling his back up underneath me and his hind legs stepping forward and the most delicate touch of his mouth in my hand. I have never had a horse offer me such a perfect balance with absolutely no effort on my part. That was the post I titled "Oh, to be OTTB". Just goes to show you what can happen when you give up your goals for the day.

It might be the ride I had on my sometimes sound, sometimes not horse. I was trotting down the longside, thinking about my sidebody (don't ask) and suddenly I had an awareness of everything *behind me*. It was crazy. I have never sat so well and been so in tune with that horse. Gave a whole new meaning to the phrase "riding the hind end". Haven't duplicated it again but at least now I have something to strive for again ;)

Every day that I ride includes a "best dressage moment". I bet most peoples do, if they noticed.

Ride On
Dec. 21, 2007, 08:52 PM
I had 2 really great moments.

The first one was at GMHA in Vt . I finished my Third level ride and my trainer was not very pleased, it was accurate but I missed my changes. I figured it was in the high 50's I needed a 60 to finish my scores for my Bronze medal. I was just coming back from chatting with a long time friend and my daughter came around the corner with a 3rd place ribbon. Cool I said but what was the score, it was a 61%. I finished the requirements for my Bronze medal!!!!!! Needless to say i was doing a Happy Dance.

The second moment was this fall I was working with Mark Rashid, a cowboy with a gift to show you how to feel and become one with the horse. Any way I was working on my changes and I sent my energy down my leg and bingo an soft clean change. I tried the other way and the same thing a soft clean change. I was happy. :)

Dec. 21, 2007, 09:58 PM
Getting control of the shoulder and feeling straight/shoulder in/straight and then getting incredible leg yeilds and fantastic simple changes..I am the one who is learning,my horse is the SAINT!!

Dec. 21, 2007, 10:24 PM
I agree with Eqtrainer; many rides are filled with perfect moments. My big gelding has been off with an injury, and I've been bringing back my pony. It is amazing how she can go from a pony trot when she's tense or just schlepping around to doing a big gorgeous warmblood trot. Trying to sit it makes me laugh and I actually want to say "Whee!", just like when you're going down a steep hill or on a carnival ride. Now to get that lightness and self-carriage for an entire ride -- (in heaven, perhaps....)

Dec. 22, 2007, 01:39 AM
This past June 2007, at our 1st recognized dressage show :yes: While winning our First Level tests was great! (my $1000 horse, competing against well-bred $$$$ horses ;) ) The judge held a clinic that evening on 'how to improve your dressage scores'. She had the NICEST things to say about my lil ole horse! She kept making reference to him in every aspect she talked about -- in front of every1 in the clinic -- training, turn-out, well ridden, well trained.

That is the best spoken moment, the most appreciated and pride inducing thing anyone has ever said about my horse and me.

I couldn't wipe the grin off my face for over a month, and the blushing that went along with it :D

Dec. 22, 2007, 01:46 AM
I had a lot of really great and rewarding moments on my horses in this past year. I continue to be grateful to them for their love, patience and loyalty. I feel blessed.

Especially standing out- are- riding Tommy for the first time- and feeling his flamboyance,
getting perfect canter-walks with Lafit- and some real mediums that gave me a sense of what was in his engine and really feeling his size and presence - and galopping Tommy- what a life....

I am incredibly grateful to my horses to keep me sane, healthy and happy!!! Without them I would not be who I am and I wouldn't have the energy and belief in life! They continue to resurrect when I'm down and make me fly when things are right.

so- I guess there was not a single best moment...or what others would have perceived as such- at least not for me...there was a string of great moments that I treasure....:)!!

Dec. 22, 2007, 06:52 AM
There were a number of wonderful moments in 2007, but the one which stands out is when my mare Dame d'Allemagne scored 92.2 % in Materiale - made my day, week and month !

Happy Holidays, everyone !


Elly, wasn't that at Conyers? I remember that! Phenomenal!

Dec. 22, 2007, 08:44 AM
A few months ago I was asked to make the choreography and music for a Quadrille. We made the appointment to start practising this quadrille at a certain stable at a certain day and time. One of the riders didn't show up on time, but she called to say that she was on her way. After waiting for over an hour her horsetruck arrived and red headed the girl went to the back of her truck to unload her horse. You won't believe it but it's 100% true, she had forgotten her horse..

Dec. 22, 2007, 09:58 AM
My wonderful 4yr old on the cover of Dressage Today!

Dec. 22, 2007, 03:34 PM
1. Riding my three year old! (hands down)
2. Getting clean lines of 2's on the Big Three.
3. Wally. (sssh, don't tell him he's only #3)
4. Hmm, it would have to be the three year old again! :) :D :lol:

Dec. 22, 2007, 03:46 PM
there is no one thing - but this year has been full of really cool moments - and like Sabine - i just feel blessed to have the life i have and the horse/trainer i have :)

but of the moments that stand out: the day my mare really engaged and sat in canter - holy %#&$%& - very very cool - the day she really connected on the o/s rein and i could ride her off my seat, the fact that she trusts me enough now to allow the above is amazing.

i am super excited for 2008 - :)

Gucci Cowgirl
Dec. 22, 2007, 04:12 PM
Nice to see everyone had good times this year...

One of mine was at a schooling show, I was coaching a student, and everything "clicked" for them for the first time - the horse looked textbook-perfect and SO happy and relaxed. They went on to score over 70 % that day...I was very very happy and proud of them!

My best moment was on a client's horse at another schooling show (same series) and the very green, 5 yr old 17 HH Hanoverian gelding I was riding was a perfect gentleman, and scored over 71 %....

Dressage Art
Dec. 22, 2007, 04:15 PM
Best moment was to start riding full time my mare when she came back from 6 months off from lameness and colic - both at the same time in 2007 year!

Dec. 22, 2007, 10:15 PM
I've gone from not knowing if I could get a single clean change at the 6 year old championships (in september) to just within the last month -- I am getting pretty straight reliable 3's, pretty decent lines of 2's, and my first set of 1 tempi's this week :D The fact that he really understands the idea is just huge! ...I was still grinning the next morning...that is one very specific moment that feels monumental.

Attn big sandbox, here we come!

(now all we have to do is always be through and round and self carriage and expression and straight and bend and easy and......)

Dec. 23, 2007, 08:52 AM
Riding shoulder-in, turn to centerline, half-pass back to long side on my EPM recovering mare .... after MONTHS of not being able to trot without major complaints, stumbles, crankiness.


Dec. 23, 2007, 08:36 PM
When I really *got* what contact is, from the ellbows to the bit, soft, steady, and recycling the energy from behind, and being able to keep that on bending lines, all on my very own OTTB (with too many issues to name them all), his very special Christmas present to me :D

Dec. 23, 2007, 09:24 PM
a) try mullen mouth on horse doing giraffe imitation - horse QUITS giraffe imitation.

b) try new saddle on new horse in 15 mph winds on a cold day (i hate saddle shopping) and horse was GOOD! got some good LY, SI in trot for the first time on him!

Dec. 23, 2007, 10:28 PM
Absolute best of the year is getting to ride Chevy for the first time a little over 2 weeks ago. This is a son of my late mare who I lost in 2005 from PHF. I bred Sass to get my future dressage horse and to have something of her in case something happened where I lost her. Since he was born in May 2003 up until late last year, I contemplated selling him many times because of his challenging attitude. BUT! I stuck it out and man am I GLAD! He's a joy to ride and quick to catch on. That first ride was just so incredibly cool since I foaled him out and raised him. :D

Another moment is with my TB mare who is having some neurotic moments the past few months. Lots of bolting, leaping, rearing, & bucking. We're finally getting her reined in again and working well. I'm just learning again how much I have to keep things changing with her so she doesn't zone out on me while riding her. Today? It was 51 when I went to the barn at 9:30am, winds were up to 60mph, and temps dropped throughout the day (currently we're in the single digits at almost 10:30pm!). When I brought Sunshine inside, she was pretty geeked up and spooky AND needy. :lol: After lunging her for 35 minutes I got on and she was GREAT! Only one minor bolt and that was because the QH gelding that is pastured behind the indoor spooked and galloped/bucked past the gate. He sort of came out of nowhere. But I stayed relaxed about it and just quietly said whoa and amazingly she responded immediately then stood shaking like a leaf. :rolleyes: Needless to say, she has some confidence issues.... which also rubbed off onto me over the summer. But things are finally looking up for us again. :yes:

Of course I'm thinking that I must be insane having 2 horses that need to be worked. :winkgrin:

Dec. 24, 2007, 03:32 AM
I am very thankful for the many breakthroughs I have had this year, including my first publicly-graded shoulder ins earning 7s. Stoked!

Probably among the best moments of the year involved helping a person really GET canter on a longeline with my husband's foxhunter/eventer. Then, a few weeks later, we went out and did a "dressage trail ride" and she cantered in the BIG WIDE OPEN. Couldn't have slapped the smile off her face. The horse knew, even without her tears of joy and arms around his neck, that he was a wonderful star for being so kind to her, too. It was great.

Dec. 24, 2007, 09:17 AM
I feel particularly blessed every time I walk into my barn and ride my horses, so picking out moments are hard.

Riding for the first time in my arena. That was pretty cool.

I think one of the best moments was getting out and showing my ex-eventer, wannabe DQ in his first dressage show. He seemed so pleased with himself.

This weekend I had another lesson on my wannabe DQ. We got a "taste" of half-pass and extended trot. So, cool; makes me want more!

Dec. 24, 2007, 12:14 PM
Didn't get it in competition as I don't compete anymore but getting wonderful piaffes and passages from my boy.

Dec. 26, 2007, 05:59 PM
Getting back in the saddle after being pregnant for most of 2007. Even walking around was a real sanity saver and we're almost not embarrassing to watch again.