Sunday, January 5, 2014

Lesson #68: Sitting Trot Progress

Hooray! Riding a second day in a row :) Yesterday was a make-up lesson but today's our normal riding day. I'm a little saddle sore though... and not surprisingly, I don't really mind because I'd be more than happy to jump on a horse and ride again ;)

Today was a busy lesson with 2 other students with us. And guess what? Ariel hates EVERYONE today. Bonspiel is already not Ariel's friend but it appears she doesn't like anyone today; she pins her ears and defiantly raises her head when we pass the other horses. It's even worse when anyone gets near her rear... even at 1 horse length! I have quite the job out for me today since someone's in a very un-social mood. ADW is riding a bi-coloured mare (Paint or pinto? I'm not sure) named Quinn who's more go than whoa.

Lots of 20m circles to get Ariel supple and warm during the trot. I struggle to make these nice and round and they look more like lumpy ovals. To further increase suppleness, Sheri asks me to get Ariel doing 10m circles at the corners and remembering to push her through so that she doesn't fall in. This is tricky. I find that as mundane as flat work like this can be, it's critical to practice it so that as we get faster, we'd be better able to move through turns appropriately.

Next, Sheri has me altering between seated and posting trot. I am starting to get the feel for seated trot better now. I'm not always able to get it right away or to sustain it for extended time but I am able to get a few spurts here and there. She said that the minute I felt Ariel raise her head, get stiff or otherwise, that I would return to posting and re-attempt a relaxed seated trot. This was a really interesting revelation today... when Sheri told me that I was getting it, I paid attention to the way my body was feeling, how things were moving and where my riding toolbox was at. When things were going right, it felt like my hips were moving in a circular motion going forward, up and back again and the movement that I absorbed from Ariel was 'vibrating' up through my spine and out the top of my head. All the while, my legs and seat were firmly centered in the saddle.

We move to some canter and since Ariel's been super cranky all lesson, she decides to speed around and I actually find it difficult to get a hold of her at times. I had to get into circles to slow her down or I would definitely have trouble with getting control. Our last exercise is a low straight jump with trot poles preceding it. Half seat and then 2-point the step just before the jump. Not at all easy; this is another thing I struggle with because I seem to anticipate the jump too early or I don't set myself up appropriately. It's not pretty. But, it's something I continue to work on. One of these days we'd be able to set up a little course in the arena.

One last thing that is not related to my skills in any form... Ariel and Bonspiel get into a real tiff this time. As she's walking by, he kicks out and she in return, kicks back... while I'm on. Though she takes a little kick, she does enough to knock my forward on her crest and daze me enough to wonder what just happened. We do end the lesson during un-tacking with some tricks!

Posting Diagonal Jar Tally: 2 x $2.00 = $4.00
To date: $65.00

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