How do you make the transition to dressage--from H/J?
I am in the process of trying to figure out if I want to continue riding over fences. I had a very bad accident, and am still not able to ride 8 months later--hopefully, I get to start back this week, on the flat. I am beginning to realize that jumping may just be too dangerous to my continued use of my arm. I still want to ride, and dressage is calling my name...loudly!
I've ridden both hunters and jumpers for nearly 25 years, and have dabbled in dressage a few times along the way. I am a pretty good rider, not an expert ;), but can put in a decent training level test (I've shown my current jumper twice in dressage schooling shows--scores in the 60's).
I just don't know how to transition. Current horse is NOT a dressage candidate--horrific trot to sit, quite hot (packs over fences :)). I would love to have some advice on making the change:
How much on my own training should I expect?....remember, hunters do lessons in groups with a trainer pretty much weekly. Do dressage folks do the same? Should I sell Mr. Jumper and look for a trainer, then buy a lower level dressage packer to "teach me the ropes"?
I guess I'm just looking for some guidance or advice on making the switch. FWIW, we have some excellent dressage instruction in my area, and a super clinician comes to my area on a regular basis, and my H/J trainer lessons with her...so my flat work is quite dressage based.
It is hard to defeat gravity
Perfect Pony has an important point. You can't do it if your saddle won't let you feel like you are balanced over your feet and your feet are close enough width-wise to stand comfortably. If your hips are stretched wide too far out, you will lock up the joint, and can tear the ligaments that hold the pelvic gridle in place.You should feel like you could be dancing on your own feet, if you were lifted by an imaginary string off the horse.
The saddle has got to be level or your back will kill you, and your horse will be evading to put you in the center of gravity. If the saddle is right, that trot may change all on it's own.
P.M. me! I'm glad you are back in the country.