Sunday, May 26, 2013

Lesson #29: Big Personalities

We rode outdoors again, on Friday. I'm sure I'm not the only one to say that the best riding is outdoors. The drive up was also pretty relaxed and not particularly stressful. Upon arrival, we get ready to tack up. Our lessons horses assigned are Aspen for me and Indy for ADW. I am always excited to ride Aspen because in my head, I'm riding a unicorn. A kooky wild unicorn who clearly has a mind of his own.

ADW and I both adore Aspen and I know he enjoys riding Aspen because he's a joker with ADW and pulls all sorts of ridiculous practical jokes on him--like taking him to the corner without reason. Or the times he stops and insists he has to pee but nothing happens for a good minute or two.

When we get to the ring, Sheri asks me to trade with ADW as she wants us to do some canter today and Indy's canter is not as smooth going as Aspen. Last time I cantered on Aspen I wasn't even too sure I was cantering because it was so smooth! Anyways, so we trade and I climb on Indy.

Of course, I get the kooky horse who's been a bit strange lately and he spooks because of an unknown pony running by. Seriously?? Anyways... it doesn't matter because having a 'difficult' horse only helps a rider develop the skills to deal with a more extreme horse. Learning to "speak animal" is a feat in itself. People who keep animals (this is more common in the city, I find) are generally idiots who have no idea what they're doing and blame bad behaviour on the animal when in fact animals generally act out of instinct or based on training by humans. No matter. This lesson I focus on proper posture as the posture seems to help with appropriate balance and riding, as a result. I remind myself to sit up straight, look up and forward, weight in heels, heels relaxed yet firm to keep them from collapsing, chest open, elbows at my sides and hands closed with thumbs on top. A lot to think about! But, when all that comes together, everything actually does come together while you're moving!

We work on trot to get warmed up and during seated trot, I keep my gaze up and forward while keeping my hips loose enough to absorb the movement. It's still uncomfortable--I loathe doing the seated trot when asked. However, we quickly move into canter and I have the opportunity to take Indy in a nice canter around the ring. But, we know this boy loves to move and his canter always gets faster than an inexperienced rider is able to handle so I often find myself transitioning back down so I can gain control of him. This proves to be a feat I'm able to handle this lesson. Hurrah!

Our last section of the lesson is focused on a short "X" jump with 2-point position during trot. It's a pretty good final exercise as we each move nicely over the jump without any real issues. I hope to continue to improve my balance so that I can ride any canter for an extended period of time without losing my balance and needing to recollect. Continuing to focus on improving balance through retained correct posture.


  1. haha you found a picture of aspen!! nice!

    1. doesn't it embody aspen to a T??? hilarious.