Sunday, December 30, 2012

Lesson #11

I arrived at the barn nice and early for the lesson on Friday. This was a make up lesson for the one that was cancelled due to Boxing day. I've never been to the stable on Fridays to ride and expected at least 1 other rider. Another lucky break and I had a private lesson!

I was paired with the fuzzy silver ambassador of Greyden: Aspen. He's probably the fuzziest horse I have ever seen; he's like a big poufball! He's bombproof and a good gentle boy. And I soon discover that he's also a horse that will teach anyone to ask for the commands correctly since he's prone to ignoring you if you're not asking for things right. He's what Sheri calls a "schoolie" and he knows all the tricks in the book!

Since it's a private, we get right into things and I'm doing a lot of trotting (posting and seated) to get warmed up. As I'm going round and round, Sheri calls me to the center to adjust the stirrup length--says that it's a bit short for me. She's loosening up my hip joint and yanking my leg a bit. She then lays my leg down along Aspen's body and tells me my thigh needs to be tilted forward but not death gripping Aspen all the while my legs are long. I'm also not sitting only on my seat bones... the "seat" is a tripod of points in your actual "seat" where your pubic bone is the 3rd point that makes contact with the saddle. I feel my leg long along Aspen's body and for once, I can feel what it should feel like.

I get back along the rails and get into the trot and Sheri tells me it's time to give the canter a try. It seems that Aspen is ignoring my aides, which are still a total mess btw--Aspen is just trying to respond appropriately and he can't do that to the mess that is sitting on top of him since he likely isn't quite clear as to what it is that I want him to do! So, Sheri gets out a longer crop to show him that she means business. I suppose that the objective is to help me get the feel for the canter and to feel the seat in the canter: it's like a scooping motion with your hips forward and up and back and then forward again. There are moments where I can feel how it's meant to feel.

I'm determined to get into a canter on my own, regardless of what it is that it takes, to do it. The only thing that I'm holding onto, is the fall. I didn't realize it at the time, but after several tries, I recollect that everytime I prep to get into the canter, part of me tenses up again and panics. It's as if I'm  preparing for the exact same thing that happened in the past, on another horse. This sort of "memory" that leads to anticipation is something I think adults tend to hold onto. But in my other experiences of life, that's exactly what holds us back in the same rut that we eventually get stuck into.


  1. Ugh, this same thing happened to me! I was bucked off right as I was giving the aids to canter and I had a paranoia about cantering for months after. Keep trying though! Sounds like you are doing great. :-)

    1. thanks for the words of encouragement! i try to set myself minigoals for each lesson if they're as simple as look up. i'm sure that'll help me get right into the place i need to be :)