Back when I got Mr.Grumpy I was such a newbie. I remember my instructor telling me that loads of people can ride Z(medium advanced level dressage), but that there was a huge difference between riding it “pretty” versus “handy”. At that point I had no clue what she meant, as to me everyone riding on that level looked the same.
Lately as my own riding has evolved as well as I’ve watched a lot of clinics, read articles and seen people ride I’m starting to realize what she meant.
For example during my lesson yesterday, Mr.Grumpy was showing himself from his good side, meaning he bent his head without me asking. So if I rode pretty(hands correct, legs still and so forth) it could look like something good to an untrained eye. However if you looked closely you would have seen that he was not on my leg, nor on the bit. If I had to ask him for anything else then circles and forward he probably wouldn’t do it.
Horseriding is so much more then just pretty riding. I must admit it at times feels overwhelming and confusing to try to learn it all, but the fun you have once you do is incredible. Being able to distinguish a good rider from a pretty rider feels really good. There is a lot of pretty riders out there 😉