If you are reading the title of this entry, you might be a bit confused – I mean getting round and skinny at the same time doesn’t sound possible, but it is. Let me explain.😉
Getting round. In the dressage world, getting round refers to the horse’s form while walking, trotting and cantering. I’ve referred to it before, to give you a visual, here is a picture.
Notice how the head of the horse has this beautiful round arch to it, while the face is straight? This happens when the horse “rounds” itself. The rounding is not just the muscles in the horses neck working, but the movement comes from the core and back of the horse. It takes years and years of training for the horse to develop the strength and desire to round its body. You start at the walk, then learn how to round in the trot and the canter. For Alfie and I, we’ve been working consistently on this for almost 2 years at the walk. Alfie and I have gotten very comfortable at rounding during the walk. Again, it’s been almost 2 years to get this far. So the next logical step was to get it in the trot.
We’ve been working on this with him for awhile now, trying to encourage him to suck in his core, and stretch his neck while trotting. It’s not an easy task. First, he has to understand what it is I’m asking of him, using your body differently at just the right moments. This isn’t easy at all for me. Both legs and arms and even your seat muscles work independently of each other, and when it all comes together it’s like a finely tuned orchestra.
After our fairly long warmup today, we were ready to trot. Heels down, hands in front, thumbs up, a little squeeze of the outside rein, a little squeeze of the inside rein, a squeeze with your legs and ask for trot. While trotting, post on the correct diagonal, maintain contact with the bit with the outside rein and give a little on the inside and if all that goes correctly, Alfie will round at the trot. Oh and don’t forget to breathe lol. Well guess what folks – we did it.
It was a few strides the first attempt and holy cow, I set up Alfie perfectly into the trot. He was rounding at the walk, and then we were trotting, and it was magical. It feels very different when the horse is rounded at the trot, their body carries differently. The motion feels as smooth as a hot knife slicing through butter. We try it a second time. This time, he’s able to trot more steps rounded than the first attempt. We ended our lesson on that high note.❤️
So I mentioned in the title of this entry, getting round and skinny at the same time. So while Alfie gets round, I am getting skinnier. A few weeks ago, I bought fleece lined winter riding pants in a size Large. All my XL riding pants are too big now, even with a belt, they are big in the seat area which actually makes it uncomfortable to ride. So with it being winter, I wanted warmer breeches and ones that fit. So I ordered a few pairs in a size large. I was so excited to get them, when they were delivered I eagerly opened up the box and tried them on. They fit, but they were snug. I was slightly disappointed but figured I would keep trying them and in a few weeks they were going to fit. Well guess what – 3 weeks later – THEY FIT!!! 👍🏻
This is such an amazing journey Alfie and I are on together. ❤️🐴