Today's lesson brought a few aha moments.
For one of them I had to stop and spend a few minutes really figuring out what my instructor meant. .... which is an aha moment in itself. I was going round and round and she was repeating the same thing over and over which meant "duh... I wasn't doing it right". The bad part was that I wasn't even sure what I was doing wrong or even what she really wanted. I could have kept going around trying and failing or I could stop and figure it out. Going around trying things and failing really isn't fair to my horse so I stopped. After a few minutes repeating back to her what I was thought she wanted and her confirming that yup... that wasn't it... I finally got it!
For the most part I think to be a good student of dressage you need to most of the time just shut up and listen. Do what you instructor says and don't try to over analyze it. Do exactly what they say and worry about the "why" later. Usually in the process of "doing" the "why" becomes clear.
However, sometimes when you aren't even sure "what" they want you to do, you have to stop and ask. Its a good use of your lesson time.
Today I was collapsing in on my inside waist line. Because I wanted HIM to bend, I was bending at MY waist and destroying his straight line. What I was getting was his inside shoulder collapsing with mine and his outside shoulder bulging out. (You will begin to see that is a common theme with our riding!)
What I needed to do to correct it was to straighten my inside waistline, sitting up tall, giving both sides of my waistline a feeling of stretch. That gave us the straight. Then to get the bulging shoulder back in line I needed to drop my outside hip in effect pushing his outside line in and forward.
Two more aha moments followed... but those are for another post. Stay tuned!