Big, Ugly Frogs

Dressage for Mere Mortals

In Japan there’s a saying that goes like this: “Eat your biggest, ugliest frog first.”

I love this phrase, which I take to mean, “Tackle your largest problems before anything else.” When it comes to riding, transitions are the biggest, ugliest frogs in my itinerary. Nothing else shows off flaws more quickly, other than falling off.

In the spirit of eating that big, ugly frog, I asked Natalie (as in Natalie Perry Dressage) if we could tackle transitions in today’s lesson. Natalie’s always up for a challenge and was happy to help.

Transitions are all about preparation and part of that preparation is the half-halt. While I use half-halts somewhat intuitively in the trot, in the excitement of the canter, they’re sporadic.

My thought was to work on the the half-halt in the trot to lengthen and shorten the gait. Then, with the cues imbedded in my brain, work on…

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