Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Bunch of Lessons

I think it's pretty evident that I've been MIA here... the last post was the end of March and it's already half-way through April! At least the nice weather is here :)

To keep count, I'm on lesson 89 today. I rode at Gosling Stables for 4 of those lessons and the other one at Forest Hill. Forest Hill is an A-circuit private showing stable in Caledon. What the devil was I doing at an A-circuit stable? Well, NR was so kind as to gift me a special deal coupon to go for a semi-private lesson and assessment. Let me tell you... these guys are hard-core! Within seconds of getting there, I was being picked apart for every little thing. And the more I had to do, the more nervous I became and the more mistakes I made! And this is just the tack up portion. Sheesh. By the time we got on the horses, I was ripped well apart about posture and position and everything else in between. Lol... I'm surprised they didn't comment on my turnout during a lesson.

That said though, it was an enlightening experience where I learned about many of the requirements that A-circuit riders undergo and the sort of coaching they have. Of course, I also recognize that I probably will never get to the A-level circuit. Mainly due to my financial situation... simply, I'm not rich. I mean who has the money to buy that $250,000 horse and then to pay for the training and lessons that go together... *sigh* Well, you know where I'm going with this :P

Things I did pick up from Forest Hill include things like:
  • ride a few seated trot and let the horse "bump you up" and you'll likely be on that correct diagonal;
  • my hands are not forward enough... they should be where the martingale would sit, on the horse's neck;
  • pick the hoof away from you/them--I must have forgotten then at some point because it seems like such a basic thing;
  • turn the horse into the jump with your leg... so they turn into them straight (this one I'm not too sure about what he meant but it worked when I did it);
  • and sadly, I'd probably end up feeling like the silver horse in a herd of bays, if I ever joined that type of establishment.
 So, onwards to my usual lessons at Gosling Stables!

I've continued to ride Ariel, which is great because I've been forced to address the issues I've been having with her on the right rein. A few weeks ago, I was having a totally miserable time with her responding to my aids to move her to the left... we've discovered that she emulates whatever the rider is doing... and so that means I'm very crooked because she can't stay straight on the right rein and leads with her shoulder. I've been working on "fixing" myself with an intense yoga class and lots of hip opening exercises. It's gotten a little better as I can at least get her to respond... even though she's off the track.

We had a pretty good lesson today and even MM said that Ariel at least likes me and that's why she'll do what I ask her to do... because this mare is nobody's fool and if she doesn't want to do something, she won't.

Posting Diagonal Jar Tally = 10 (5 lessons) x $2.00 = $20.00
To date = $159.00

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