Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Lesson #49: Neglecting Sleep

September 1, 2013

It's caught up with me: my lack of sleep for the entire week. It was evident on Friday and even more evident today. My equitation was miserable today and I'd say, it affected my work. Lenka really tested us today but that doesn't matter, because it was evident that stuff wasn't going right and I have to work on certain things in order to get it right. One of the most evident things today was that when you speed things up, weaknesses and errors become even MORE evident. I'm not at the point where I'm some super star who can race around naturally as everything I do still requires effort and work.

I ride Nikki today and there are a few things that I am reminded of: Nikki is small so my leg position is not where it is with other horses so I have to make adjustments to where I place my leg because Nikki's not lazy... she's specific. It's like pronouncing your words appropriately when you're speaking. She's also quick to take excuses if you give them to her and she will do what she feel is easiest if clear instructions are not given to her.

To work on strengthening inner thighs, we do work without stirrups. This is an easy step up from bareback since your "goody bits" aren't being jammed into the horse's withers or their spiny backs. However, it takes a great deal of effort from your inner thighs to keep from falling off. We work on seated trot then the dreaded posting trot. I didn't think it was possible to do but it is; you don't get as high as you do with stirrups but you are still able to ride if you have your inner thighs engaged properly. This, is the proper place of effort! For the remainder of the lesson, I try to focus on keeping my legs engaged there while maintaining the contact of the lower leg and the weight down through the heels but not actually relying on your stirrups. I am finally starting to understand what it takes to ride properly but by no means am I close to actually having the stamina to do it or the ease of slipping into the right posture with little effort.

The lessons peaks with this exercise: ~20m circles in the canter. I've seen seasoned riders make it look like a walk in the park. It is not by any means easy. I'm still working on just riding the canter and add in a small circle and the need to control and maintain the aids, to the whole equation and I present you the mess that is Deb. The following have become my issues: my hands are too low, my body is collapsing forward, my lower leg position is shot to sh*t and I can't stay balanced--I look like a sack of potatoes. I manage at least one good go at it and am quite pleased that I was able to accomplish this: small achievements some days.

Now, my next work up to the actual achievement? More supporting exercises and MORE SLEEP.


  1. my thighs sure were burning afterwards!!!

    1. i was so tired after that! and we didn't even do it for all that long! :S