Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Lesson #42: Dr. Smedley says...

"The greater the obstacle, the greater glory we have in overcoming it."
This was such an apt quote I found in my Toastmasters Magazine today. I've been doing Toastmasters for a long while now and I know that whatever you do, you can translate those soft skills onto other things in your life. I am by no means a glowing speaker but I continue to work on improving my skills; much like riding.

Sunday is my biweekly lesson and I was paired with Trinket again. The weather is nice so I figured I'd go in a tank top over my breeches. This was a big mistake, I realize that evening, after taking a shower... but let's get back to the topic at hand.

This is a large class today... with 6 students for Lenka to instruct. And she did great. We had some beginners, a newbie and some more advanced riders so it was a smorgasbord of levels. I do enjoy riding earlier in the morning but since HH and his buddy prefer to make it there a bit later, we've switched to 11am. Trinket is raring to go it seems to I quickly get her put together to get tacked and helped HH's friend Ty bring in Nikki.

I kind of like full classes because the barn (technically stable) is buzzing with people and everything is busy. When we get out there, we start with posting trot and keep going and going and switch things up with seated trot and changed directions. I try to keep Trinket entertained with random circles in the ring so we both work on turning and such. I notice she much prefers foot aids as opposed to rein aids so I remember to use my feet before getting into my hands.

Since Sheri last described the very complicated leg position, I have been consistently working hard to be conscious of what I'm going with my legs while in the saddle. It is hard work and I still can't seem to get it right because I move one section and the other opens up and if I close that section, the other flaps open. It's incredibly frustrating!

We add in some stride exercises over ground poles and work on position through 2-point and seated trot. Not exactly my idea of fun but a useful exercise nonetheless.
I relate to Lenka about my concerns with Trinket and the latest experience I've had on her. Even Lenka mentions that Trinket's canter is a challenge to ride because of her floppy, the higher bounce and the heavy forehand. I tell her that I'll try it anyways since I seemed successful on Friday and that as long as it was in short bursts. Let me tell you, it was a messy section of the lesson. She got into her fast pony trot and went the whole perimeter for several tries. It didn't matter what I did but the pony trot disassembled my seat time and again and I was pitching forward and jossling around and even getting tired enough to want to grab the saddle. It was NOT pretty. Though, Lenka mentioned that it's likely even she'd have difficulty looking graceful on Trinket and that Trinket's normal rider works hard to keep it together.

I got a few canter strides in every now and again and there was one final successful loop when something just clicked and we got together and were able to go the lap. The only thing is that I still tense up and things get a little messy and I'm just not in my seat anymore. I've got a trick to work on that but I'm going to try it out several weeks before I post about it--if it's successful. Hopefully my consistent hard work will pay off... but like many things: persistence, consistency & discipline, determination and reflection are necessary for me to taste my grand glory.


  1. you looked good when you cantered the whole way around!

    oh and I kind of like it when it's busy too, kind of fun.

    1. i'm glad you think so! b/c i was terrified of falling off :|
      yea me too. busy is kinda nice, actually.