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So I had promised a while back to provide periodic training updates on Gus's new program and I'm happy to report it's going well. As I'm sure you all know, the training process isn't a straight line from A to B - far from it!
The biggest challenges initially were to get Gus moving really freely forward and learning to balance his weight better off the forehand. He made huge progress over the first few weeks, then hit a bit of a wall as muscle fatigue and a touch of Belgian draft stubbornness set in.
Now we're past that wall and back in a progress phase where every day seems to come with a big breakthrough. He's feeling fitter, his balance has improved enormously and with that so has the quality of his gaits. It's exciting to get glimpses of the horse he will be six months or a year from now. While he's never going to be a world-class FEI horse that's ok - I'm never going to be a world-class FEI rider either! ;-)
I know another plateau is lurking around the corner so I'm enjoying this fun phase while it lasts.
On my end, I'm still struggling to improve both my fitness and my position. These aren't exactly new issues, as every coach who has ever taught me will tell you! But they are slowly getting better, and the difference in how Gus goes when I am steady and strong in my position is really noticeable. (Again, something every coach I've ever had is saying to themselves "I told you so!" right now). I'm also learning to focus on the positives from each lesson, rather than over-analyzing the negatives and dwelling on them.
I hope you are all enjoying your horses this summer and making progress on your own journey, whatever your goals are.
Onwards and upwards!
About the author
I'm a middle-aged, overweight, rusty re-rider who refuses to let any of that get in the way of my passion for dressage.