Not having much to update today, I thought I would share this article from Dressage Today. If you are, or have ever been, frustrated by a skill that seems out of reach, this is the article for you.
Full disclosure, it was written by my dressage trainer, Eliza Sydnor, and so it’s probably no surprise that the words speak to me. I think they also translate very well into any discipline, as it describes the psychological phenomenom of learning to ride a horse, and that you could probably use Hunter-Jumper, or Western Pleasure, or whatever, and the article would still hold true.
Eliza discusses the responsibilities of the trainer-student connection, and how communication is vital to the learning process. Her discussion of that most frustrating stage, conscious incompetence, where you know what to do but just can’t seem to do it, reminds me of so many lessons where I have struggled to make my body do as I knew it should. Renvers, I’m looking at you. But knowing that we are moving from Conscious Incompetence to Conscious Competence, and that the cycle of learning is renewed with every new skill, is part of the process. Personally, I find this challenge of dressage part of the draw, and I imagine any rider who has learned along with their horse can relate.
As part of my continuing dressage education, I will be attending the Debbie McDonald and Janet Foy clinic this weekend. A couple local trainers, including Eliza, will be riding as demo riders, which should make an already interesting day that much better. Plan to see a clinic rehash next week!