Friday, May 16, 2014

Lesson 98: Slow and Steady Progress

It's quiet at the stable today... we lost a member of the horsey family. He was my instructor's dressage horse that she raised and trained from a foal. It was a quiet lesson but one that she took on with the same meticulousness she always had. I love that about her... she's such a strong person... I probably would have been a bumbling mess in bed and wanting the whole world to just go away and disappear while I mourned and felt sorry for myself.

But, we'll get back to this later this week. It's my usual private lesson and I start my warm-up with trotting around ensuring that the posting diagonal is right and that I'm relaxed. The trot is relaxed and Ariel isn't being pokey around the rail. I thought everything was going okay but Sheri stops me and points out that while the trot pace is relaxed and Ariel periodically frames, I'm over posting over the pommel. I should be pushing my butt out back a bit more and sort of rising to stand as opposed to thrusting my hips over the pommel. This is good (and bad) news because I've been noticing lately that I occasionally jam my lady parts into the pommel and it's uncomfortable (too much info? haha); I have to retrain myself to post correctly again. Drat. She also notices that I post up and twist my upper body... my loopy right side has to be conquered! I have to take the active effort to push my right shoulder back (even if it seems like too much back) and loosen my right hip and remove my right knee from the saddle rolls. Of course, Ariel's quick to agree with Sheri's comments!

Once I take active notice and intention to adjust, these items, I see Ariel become more relaxed and realize it's something I need to pay attention to when I get up there. Once things are in good working order, I am asked to take my feet out of the stirrups and then get at the sitting trot. I think "I hate the sitting trot! and without stirrups too? Oyvey". Sheri reminds me that my aim is to do short spurts (or whatever I can handle) as long as I don't pinch (with my knees) and Ariel isn't doing her usual disagreeing motions and choppy trot. The first stint was a bit trying... but soon, Ariel and I get into a rhythm and she's snorting and relaxing into the seated trot! I couldn't believe how things came together enough that I was able to ride the arena at the sitting trot without stirrups! Months ago, I was literally crying about the sitting trot... Now things are so much better and I'm able to relax my hips and lower back while keeping my balance. I have yet to try this bareback but one thing at a time ;)

The peak of the lesson is working on canter large and just keeping good pace and maintaining straightness. We also notice a crazy left wing flapping around with a conked out wrist. My left arm flaps (like a wing!) and the wrist pops out. Ugh. The thing is, I don't even notice what I'm doing until it's pointed out to me. I tell ya, parts of my body have their own mind... all working to do whatever they feel like. UGH. Again, I have to take the active notice and intentionally make the adjustments; when I don't, it acts up again. Left rein is always better than the right... both me and Ariel don't enjoy running around on our right sides.

The last exercises are jumping exercises. We do it at the canter (*weee!!*) and start with a single jump single X-jump first, with a ground pole. Lots of room for error at the get go because the turn is far in advance of the turn. Not too bad. Then we try the other way and this is a bit trickier because the turn is shorter before the jump and I have to get into the turn appropriately because there is little room for readjusting. Finally, 2 X-jumps in a line! Yikes! Sheri reminds me that the first turn is a bit more forgiving b/c there's more space for error into the turn... and to sit up between the jumps. I have a few disagreements with Ariel b/c of my loopy right side but I get her to move the way I want her to and we take the jumps well a couple of the times. Next, shift to the left rein where the turn is way shorter and we want me to get into the turn at the get go. I miss the jump completely during one of the tries. That's ok, says Sheri... better than getting right to the jump and trying to abort (i.e. bad idea). This exercise is definitely tricky though... sitting up between the jumps is something that is just me being lazy... b/c the jumps aren't that far apart... but, when I did sit up, things were just... better! Everything flowed better and I wasn't struggling with where is my body and all that stuff.

I've been doing the stretches regularly and fitting them in whereever I can and it seems that it's helping... I'll need to do some more work on my loopy right side (and wonky left wing) so it doesn't do whatever it feels like doing but otherwise, Sheri told me it was a great lesson because of the progress I've been making and that the jumping will come along gradually!

Posting Diagonal Jar Tally = 3 x $2.00 = $6.00
To date = $195.00

No comments:

Post a Comment