Monday, April 29, 2013

Lesson #24 & 25: Regularity and Persistence

Who's with me about Friday's awesome weather?? Kick.ass, right? I was so excited about Friday's wicked weather and the prospect of riding outside I probably vibrated out to Greyden. The week felt long because I spent part of it doing a juice cleanse and I actually spent a lot of time missing the opportunity to chew and taste: I love tasting salt, spices, fat and animal proteins. I'm not a mega carnivore but I do enjoy tasting these things on a relatively regular basis.

We parked and saw that the larger stable door was open... "We're riding outside!" I thought happily. Unfortunately, it wasn't happening because one of the mares spooked, bolted and threw off one of the advanced riders! So, Sheri told us we'd ride indoors because Kent's horse is a warmblood whom she didn't feel confident would be ok out in the outdoor ring and like always with horses: better safe than sorry.

We started on the right rein (meaning the right rein is on the inside of the ring) this evening, posting trot around... trying to get our rhythm. We usually start on the left rein and it felt really strange doing it on the right this time... strange like you're wearing the shoes on the wrong feet! But, as with most things (not like wearing shoes on the wrong feet!), things come together and flow. We worked on "X" jumps and ground poles. Atlas has got to be the laziest horse I have ever met. He did look a little tired when I got in, but man... he was brutally dull that evening! I kicked and kicked and flapped and kicked some more and he just ignored me!

Anyways, when Atlas got a bit more forward, I worked on getting him into a canter and who knew: he seems able to get into canter from a walk or even stop! He does throw his head high though... which explains why he typically wears a martingale. This time, the canter felt much better because I noticed I wasn't wrapping my legs around his body and I was able to keep my weight in the seat and stirrups without toppling over!


I decided that to move forward with my riding, I need to get more saddle time and made arrangements to have an additional biweekly lesson on Sunday mornings. Sunday mornings are very different than the evenings. The stables are lively and the horses are generally outside in their paddocks socializing and eating. The vibe is very different and I really enjoyed it.

I was assigned Nikki but I was hesitant because of the times I've ridden her, she's been even more lazy than Atlas has been. But, we rode outside today and guess what? She was very forward and I had to slow her down a few times! This time, Sheri got us doing a low straight jump and an X jump--both one after another. We posted around the ring during the trot and two-pointed over both jumps while alternating our exiting turns. This was A LOT of fun and I felt it was really helpful for me to work on jumping and turning.

Sheri took a video for each of us and showed us how we were doing and it seems my upper body posture isn't bad but, the biggest thing holding me back are my heels. I need to work on relaxing my ankles and just dropping my weight into the heels in a passive way. It's something that most people have to work on because calve muscles seem to be tight. I also notice this when I do my yoga classes as my heels don't touch the mat in downward dog. But, if I work on it regularly, it moves that way!

1 comment:

  1. Riding outside was really great! Soon you'll be making jumps at a canter!