Wintertime. For most of us, that word is synonymous with indoor arenas, layers upon layers and dressage boot camp. It’s a great time of year to really hone in on those pesky leg yields that have been evading you this season or to get your transitions on point to really impress the judges in the little white box.
Whatever your goals are, more often than not we eventers approach the thought of endless dressage lessons with something other than pure excitement and closer to pure dread. We thought we’d illustrate these emotions for you in GIF form:
1. Lack of Motivation
It’s well below freezing out, your bed is awfully warm, and there’s a foot of snow on the ground. Say goodbye to motivation, EN. Bundle yourself up in as many pieces of clothing as you can manage, don your muck boots and a hot cup of coffee, and get out there! Those 20-meter circles aren’t going to spin themselves.
“My right leg goes where?” The impending sense of doom when you realize your leg needs a lot more work than you originally thought. Suddenly you begin questioning your existence as an eventer, because you clearly can’t remember which aid does what anymore, and the FEI still hasn’t responded to your requests to remove dressage as a phase from the sport.
Knowing what needs to be done, yet somehow not being able to execute it is one of the most frustrating feelings. Whether your base of fitness or your knowledge is just not quite where it should be, or if you’re just having one of those days, we all know how it feels to want to crush a soda can out of sheer frustration while trying not to scream four-letter words.
You’ve been struggling for the past 45 minutes, your lesson is about to end, and you want to end on a good note. Suddenly, the stars align, your aids seem to come together, and you realize that you actually do know what you’re doing. That imperfect shoulder-in you’ve been drilling? All at once, it’s the easiest thing you’ve ever done, and you finally are able to memorize the feeling of correctness. Which then leads to…
Your lesson is over, you nailed it, and you feel like you could take on the world. You hop off, immediately planning your indoor dressage show schedule for the winter and chattering excitedly to your coach about signing up for more lessons. Two a week? Sure, why not! You’ve got this. Until next week.