Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lesson #15: Bad Habits

This was my make-up lessons and guess what? The weather sucked even MORE than last Friday. So, while the drive already put a good deal of stress on me, when I arrived, they gave the horse I was intending to ride, away! I had looked forward to riding this boy for the last few days. So, to make the best of a crappy situation, I checked out another horse that I was inquiring to ride: Atlas. He's another fuzzy silver pony who's half brother to Indy.

He's not a big boy but I already sensed some sort of tension between he and I. I tacked him up quickly and we skated (literally :( ) to the lesson arena. Sheri isn't teaching tonight and we are introduced to a new instructor, Kim.

Kim has a different style than Sheri does and I feel that she's more technical than Sheri is right from the get-go. Likely a good match for adult students. At the mounting block, I try to mount Atlas and he starts wandering away from me! It's pointed out to me that I need to shorten his reins so that he is told not to move anywhere. To be honest, I haven't had that issue with any of the other horses I've ridden... but safe horsemanship is key.

We work on posting trot and some seated trot. Atlas is pretty slow and it takes a lot to get him to move. I get the impression that he doesn't really enjoy moving as much as his brother Indy does. There is ground pole work and figure 8's where we need to remember to change our diagonals at the center. Balance is also worked on through 2-point during trotting. I still have to work on my balance as well as the position of my reins. Kim points out that I give too much rein to Atlas and I have to pull too far to get him to do things. It seems that the intention is to appear to actually move as little as possible relative to what people can see. I will be working on keeping my hands as quiet as possible next lesson.

I didn't realize that I had so many "bad habits" as it were until Kim pointed them out to me. Things that I should be focusing on, in order to look put together and to ride properly. With that, my goals for the next few lessons is to keep in mind:
- quiet hands
- heels down--long legs
- controlled reins.

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