THIS IS ONLY A TEST Dressage test, that is.

Having recently watched my first ever execution of said sort of test, I could see what the attraction was, and it’s certainly a good argument to take up against those who think that you just sit there on the back of a horse.

We did a short version [I assume it's short, see, I haven't got a clue about this stuff! So much to learn!], two at a time, and I can’t remember a damn thing we did. We changed rein a lot, walked the change from, er, F [Fools!] to, uhhhhh… H! [Horses!] on the long diagonal [did I get that right?] and then had to canter in a circle from B to E [those ones are easy] and Rebel decided, after having been at the bit all day Saturday, and again on this Tuesday, to do the thing he does in which he pelts around in circles, ever decreasing, trying to get me off.

I know I didn’t sit back enough, but he did not get me off. It was blistering though, and we ran out of order and into the centre of the arena [X!] and eventually rejoined Sharon and Ruby and ended it at the halt with relief.

I dislike losing control of him like that, there’s fear, I suppose, but also simple frustration that I can’t get ‘sat’ enough to get him under control. I felt that thing where my entire upper body tenses up and I’m leaning on the reins. Feh. But I did do a thing which I hope I am finally able to do now, maybe my legs are strong enough now: in the transition to halt I completely and thoroughly had my legs on. It was as forceful as I’ve ever felt myself do that. So good, then. Even if I felt like a rodeo clown.

Regardless, it was fun to do, a bit tedious to watch everyone else do it, I must admit, because I wanted to try it again, immediately. I can’t imagine how much preparation it requires to swot the thing, to remember every move, think the whole thing out, and manage your horse, and get him or her dead into the corners, and get them into the transition directly at the necessary letter.

It’s hard. And it requires good horsewomanship, intelligence, forethought, mental toughness, and all the while betraying basically zero movement of the hands and seat that might telegraph the aids to the human watchers.

Wow. Off to youtube to find me some dressagin’. BRB.