Monday, March 31, 2014

Lesson #82, 83 & 84: Ariel Says... Time to Get Serious!

I've ridden a lot this past weekend: I had 3 lessons, 3 days in a row. I was really excited on Friday and Saturday and then I was sore and a little less excited about the ride on Sunday morning. On Friday and Saturday, +ADW and I rode with another rider who we've known for a year-ish now. She's been riding far longer so has a much easier time with things. Things like jumps are easier for her to get over without flailing about or otherwise.

The three lessons seem to have melded together in my head so I can't quite recall exactly what I was doing in each lesson but I would say that there are a number of things that I do need to work on... this includes relaxing my hips and thighs when I am posting in the trot and remembering to push the weight into my heels during the canter and during the jump. Saturday was the weakest lesson of the 3... having been super left behind in one of the jumps and experiencing some serious trouble with my right rein.

We were doing one exercise where we incorporated the simple change with landing on the correct lead. We would take two jumps in opposing directions and once we land, we'd need to know if the lead was correct or not. Depending which turn you would make, following the landing, you would check to see if that leg was extended, during landing. So, if we were landing and I was expecting to make a right turn, I would expect to look down on the right side and see the front right limb extend a bit; if the limb was not extended then you landed on the incorrect lead. Sheri increased the complexity by asking us to add a 20m circle in canter, following a correct landing, and if not, then a simple change would be required and we'd continue in trot onwards to the next jump. This was by no means easy! It was a lot of stuff going on simultaneously or with little time to pull oneself back together.

Upon completion, we had discovered that my ambi-turner issues had seriously impeded my ability to do things on the right rein. Because Ariel's quick to let a rider know when they're not doing something right, I knew that the right rein was all botched up. She would lead with her shoulder or shake her head around. On Sunday we worked only on flat with lots of bending, flexion and turning. And it was a really tough lesson--possibly one of the toughest ones I've had, to date. We discovered that on the right rein, I exhibited a lot of tension and was gripping with my knee and tending my hip and thigh. No matter what I tried... it was as if my right leg decided to clamp on Ariel's shoulder no matter what I did, to try and relax it. It was a miserable experience.

I have a lot of homework head of me...
  • a full yoga class (minimum) once a week focusing on hips and shoulders. I found a great video that walks through hip opening stretches for those days I won't have a full hour or more.
  • I've also got to add in cardio, now that the weather is showing signs of spring. Time to break out those new Kayanos!
Posting Diagonal Jar Tally: = 6 (3 lessons) x $2.00 = $12.00
To date: $139.00

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