Una here, Fritz’s human. Today was National Wine Day, who doesn’t love wine and dressage (or horses in general). So in honor of today, I had a glass of wine before my lesson. Not just any wine, but chocolate wine; amazing heavenly chocolate wine. While I don’t recommend making a habit out of drinking and riding, it can be a good thing on occasion*.
I had nearly 2 weeks off of riding due to work trips, and have been really struggling relaxing through my lower back and leg since then, and being somewhat defensive. Which was obviously affecting my effectiveness as a rider. I have been struggling getting the tempi changes even though before my break I was getting 4’s fantastic, and I’ve really been drawing up my heels and perching. If you don’t know the history of Fritz & I, you can read it here, it will help explain some of my defensiveness.
Today, the wine helped resolve all of that. I relaxed through my back and down through my leg so I sat into him better and wasn’t perching nearly as badly, I got some beautiful tempi changes, and I even worked on something new (the 10m half circle true canter to 10m half cirlce counter canter to flying change, repeat in new direction). I even forgot to completely tense up in the *scary* corner and I survived. I also didn’t overthink everything and just felt some of it, which might have been the biggest benefit.
So I will keep this handy trick in my back pocket if I feel I am having tenseness issues I can’t get over.
HAPPY NATIONAL WINE DAY!
*Disclaimer: Don’t drink unless you are 21 years of age or older. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t drink while pregnant. Follow the law.