Monthly diary — July

Lucinda Green

I have spent this month teaching in the US and been busy with team selection questions after Zara Phillips was forced to withdraw Toytown from the Olympics.

Three riders are now in close contention for the place — Ruth Edge, Daisy Dick and Tina Cook. We will decide who goes after Barbury, if the decision isn't made for us.

I did, however, manage to squeeze in a Mary Wanless demonstration as soon as I returned. I have had a few lessons with Mary, pioneer of the 'ride with your mind' philosophy, and was a 'guinea pig' for her, with Cry Freedom. I have never cracked dressage and this is my last effort. I don't sit very well and tend to hollow, and CF is particularly sensitive to the seat. Mary makes you very aware when you are in perfect balance and when you are not. Instead of flattening the horse underneath you, she teaches how to try to 'suck him up'. The position could not be more different to my normal one and my muscles were suffering — when I did do it right, which in my case wasn't for very long, CF was much softer and happier.

By putting myself in a better position I allowed him to work in a much truer way. Mary's ideas make sense so I will try to keep following them through. With dressage, it is a case of keep opening doors and hoping that one day you will reach the sunshine.
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