Bad news...next Sunday's Christmas dressage show has been cancelled due to lack of entries. They only got 7 entries for the whole show! I'm so disappointed as I bought all the things to make my Snow Queen costume and was going to start making it today as well.
Oh well..so with a heavy heart we schooled this afternoon and practised keeping my right shoulder back and doing 20 metre circles. Today I discovered that my right shoulder does not like staying back but rather my left shoulder does..grrr.. this is fine for riding in my off-side side saddle but not for my normal one! There are mirrors in the arena so I was able to check my position and wouldn't you know it that when my right shoulder went back, my left one popped upwards! That's not supposed to happen! I wish I could strap my left shoulder down to the saddle and strap my right shoulder back to the cantle, LOL!
Towards the end of our 30 minute schooling session, our 20m circles were a bit more "circular". It's definitely that lack of "right shoulder back" that causes Hattie to drift as when my shoulder did manage to stay put, Hattie did a better circle.
Since I was mostly practising my position today, I didn't really work on getting Hattie more "forward" and with a "purpose" but I did take a cane with me instead of a dressage whip and what a mistake that was. I remember Jeannie saying last year when we went to the SSA Nationals that some horses work better with a cane and some others with a whip (sorry Jeannie if I have mis-quoted you, I can't remember your exact words but just put the "jist" of what you said!). I only use a cane when hacking as I don't need her to go fast as she already does on hacks, but just use it to keep her well over on the side of the road away from cars.
I thought by using a cane today, it would help our circles by having a sturdier "leg" to keep her from dropping to the inside but instead she just ignored me, went along at a donkey plod trot and then stopped and fell asleep at C. Gee Hattie, could you make it a little more obvious what you think of schooling?
I think we'll stock with a dressage whip for schooling and shows as she respects it a bit more than a dud cane.
Yesterday, Alice, a fellow aside enthusiast and Side Saddle Blog reader, sent me a link to episode twelve of a VERY interesting BBC documentary series called "Time to Remember". The episode is called In Times of Need and features a segment showing "well-to-do" ladies riding side saddle in a protest against the General Strike which happened in 1926 here in England.
If you like history like I do, you'll love the series as they use only original period clips which makes it even more interesting!
I do not know if those outside of the UK will be able to watch the series on the BBC website but if not, I managed to save the side saddle clips so at least you can see them!
You can just see the fixed head of the side saddle sticking up on the horse on the right. The lady on the grey in the middle is wearing a cloche hat instead of the typical bowler!
Two more ladies wearing fashionable cloche hats instead of a traditional bowler or top hat.
A parade if cloche hatted equestriennes riding in protest in London!