Growth as a Rider

Something I recently reflected on: how I have grown as a rider. I remember a year ago; you could have asked me what I needed to work on and my answer would have been “everything”. I was technically riding the same level then as I am now (with some lameness/time-off in between). But I was not full of enough knowledge to really understand my strengths and weaknesses.

However I was thinking while driving to the barn recently about the things I specifically need to get better at (as does Fritz). I felt a moment of pride and growth; because I now know enough, I know exactly WHAT my biggest struggles are… Yes, as a type-A personality (aka dressage rider), we always need to work on everything. But I now know actual THINGS I need to work on to make my riding and my horse better. Specific movements. Such as the canter half-pass and the 4, and 3 tempi changes (and definitely 2 tempi changes now that we’ve introduced them), as well as lateral work in general needing some sharpening!

I know the things that when a clinician or my regular trainer asks “what do you need to/want to work on”, what I need to tell them. And learn more exercises to benefit whatever that movement is; without over-practicing that actual movement. I also know enough to know the things that we do well on (don’t read that as we do it perfect, read it as I have learned a lot of exercises and feel comfortable addressing it on my own and understanding what it should feel like on my own) – although eyes on the ground NEVER hurt anything and if there is time during a clinic or lesson, will always address more than my main concern points!

I absolutely LOVE the learning process that dressage allows me. The growth it allows me as a rider, person and most importantly partner.