Monday, November 18, 2013

Lesson #62: Ride Each Stride

I don't know if it's just the stress of work and everything else that's going on but I woke up in a cold sweat on Sunday morning at 4AM thinking I had missed my lesson. As if I need one more pain in the bum, eh? I've been a little MIA, I'm sorry. It's been completely stupid at work though. But, enough about work! This is my little space for things that I enjoy doing and those which make me happy. Lately, work isn't one of them so it's going straight out the window in this post!

This is my second lesson at Gosling Stables and I'm really having a good time. Though, this was not one of my better rides. I don't know what was wrong with me but it was just a lot of discombobulation. It took some time to get my trot going at a good pace and the canter... it was as if I regressed several lessons!

I focused on the diagonals today so I wouldn't get caught for it as many times as I've been, since starting this endeavour! Sheri said our trot was in pretty good shape and that we would work on some canter. It's as if my brain went straight on holiday and I was asking for the canter with only my outside leg. And of course, all I got was a lot of speedy trot. When it clicked that I needed to engage the inside leg too, we finally took off and I was bouncing all over the place in on the saddle. Ariel was also speeding up and falling in at the corners. We were both a complete mess. Sheri told me to open my outside rein in the corners to help her rebalance herself and to remind her to slow down a bit with mild rein squeezes. Both worked but my butt slapping the saddle did not get better and Sheri was reminding me to loosen my hips and to allow my pelvis to loosely swing in the seat. For some reason, I was sitting very rigidly today.

Then I recalled that I should loosen my lower back and engage my lower abs and ta-da! Swinging in the seat again. Phew. I thought I lost it for some time. Much more control once I started paying attention again. Sheri reminds me that I need to ride each stride and have to be in control of what I'm asking and what Ariel is doing. The highlight, was when we got on the incorrect lead because I asked for the canter on a straight away and as I was bumping around and speeding about, Ariel did a flying lead change on her own! I thought I was going to fall off when she did that! The momentary mid-air suspension and change in lead was not something I was anticipating to feel. What a neat feeling. I think it was that moment with the reminder when I got out of my fog and something just clicked.

We finished our lesson with ground pole work (which I think Perry--ADW's mount for the lesson--was scoffing at). "Count the stride pace!" says Sheri. "Be sure it's consistent and you're not speeding up or slowing down and you go over the poles at exactly the same pace". I chuckled a bit in my head as I started to count to myself the strides... it's like my piano lessons! The one thing I suck mega at is keeping tempo. I'm constantly speeding up and slowing down and it doesn't even matter that I have the metronome going...

So defintely stuff to work on throughout the week and for the next lesson: practice keeping tempo and doing some stretches to loosen my hips up and remembering that each stride counts. It's kind of like what my piano teacher says about keeping tempo... "don't ever stop counting. You need to be counting all the time."

Posting Diagonal Jar Tally: 1 x $2.00 = $2.00
To date: $25.00


  1. the good thing is now even when not at your best you can still ride ok, probably couldn't do that before!