February 21, 2012

What a week (or two)

These past two weeks have been super hectic, mostly due to work and school so I really didn't get the time to post about how my lesson last week went. It was an interesting lesson based around shapes that could be used to help horse and rider. First Sadie had me tackle 20m circles, which I have done before so it was pretty straight forward. It was great because I can easily fit 3, 20m circles in the arena that I ride in now. Next I tried some 15m circles, which in theory shouldn't be much harder than the 20m but I found myself leaning in more than I should. I went from circles to serpentines which was much more challenging than I would have imagined. Mostly because the arena was so big that instead of doing a 3 loop serpentine I naturally tried doing a 4, but with some more work I learned that staying on the wall (or the loop part of the shape) would allow me to do a correct 3 loop serpentine. With this I was able to comprehend the correct aids to use when Mr P decides that it would be fun to bend into a 'C' shape in order to get closer to the gate that would lead him back to his pasture, hay, and friends.

I cannot remember how my riding went last Tuesday, but I do remember that I didn't fall off, so that is a plus!

Yesterday's lesson went very well and I had a great "ah-ha!" moment!! All the other times that I have posted while trotting I felt like I was doing it wrong, and I knew that I was going a too far forward and really not enough "up". Sadie had me her close contact saddle last week, which really helped my leg position, even though the saddle was a tad too small for me. I also believe that it helped me actually "figure out" posting. On Monday I started to post and it just felt, right. That is the best I can explain it. I didn't feel like I was flailing everywhere and my legs felt good. Mr P still wasn't liking the idea of doing circles at the opposite end of the arena and fought me almost every time we did a cricle, but eventually I learned to anticipate what he was going to do. On top of actually feeling like I was doing things correctly I also got to canter!

I have cantered only a handful of times, and I haven't cantered in...5 months and it was great. I stayed nice and balanced and stayed composed even after Mr P decided to rush towards the gate instead of doing a circle. Me and that boy are going to have a conversation about that.

My riding has improved immensely and it makes me so happy to know that one day I might be jumping, or even better doing a cross country course. There is one factor of my riding that I wish I had improved more by now, but it seems lagging. My right foot/heel/calf. While riding my right foot always falls out of the stirrup or slides too far into the stirrup. I realize that it is because I am not putting enough weight in my heel and that my calf is week. My calf is flexible, even more so than my left, but it still doesn't seem to stay in place and it frustrates me to no end. I realize that the 5 surgeries I have had on my right foot might have some things to do with it but I am bound and determined to fix this. To start I bought a resistance band on ebay to use to stretch more and also to hopefully strengthen my calf.

On a sadder note, a horse at the barn passed away over this weekend. It wasn't one of the horses that I work with, but it was a We Can Ride horse (a program of therapy horses that are used with children with disabilities), his name was Babe and he was 31 years old. He had a colic and due to his age, doing surgery really wasn't an option, so they decided to put him down. He was a sweet horse to the people, but a pain in the butt for the other horses. I always saw him giving the other horses a hard time and acting like a typical boy. It is still so hard to believe that he is gone. So with a sadden heart I say rest in peace Babe, you were a wonderful horse and helped so many children in your life time.

Thank you for reading.

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