Best ride ever tonight. For a good portion, it felt almost effortless. The lightbulb clicked on for me -almost every coach or clinician I've learned from puts great emphasis on controlling the feet/the four "corners" of the horse. And I've always thought, "ok, makes sense. I think I've got it, so let's check that off the list and move on." For the record, I've never REALLY had it until Ginger. I think I probably made it work, made it look ok, but it was HARD and always involved a lot of work on my end. What I learned today: it can and should be easy. And once you truly have that softness and control combined, it feels like anything is possible. What a rush. Serpentines -sorry, but today we owned you. You too, Leg Yield. And Shoulder In? Got ya! Slower/Faster? No problem!
Since it is getting close to the end of my lessons with Trainer Girl for a while, I'm starting to get some homework assigned. I'll start keeping track of my homework here so I can be held accountable if I don't follow through with it!
-Work on sitting absolutely straight. Suggested exercises:
1. Sitting trot, no stirrups, serpentines. Collect and bend through the corners, extend through the straight sections. 2. Alternate sitting and posting trot, focusing on keeping my body as even while posting as I have to to sit properly. Focus on this as I progress through canter.
Secret weapon : Ginger is so sensitive, she is excellent at reminding me when I am crooked.
-Keep my hands even! I have a bad habit of dropping my left hand down and forward- which twists my shoulders.
Secret weapon: Again, Ginger lets me know. She also likes to tell me when I pick the wrong diagonal. Thanks Ginger!
-Ginger, continued work on that left flexion, which is the stiffer side.
Suggestions: Circles, leg yields,spirals, shoulder in.
Secret weapon: After Lainey, this feels pretty easy on Ginger.
-Canter! It's too wild and scrambly still. This will be tough to get 100% because it's not the best canter naturally.
Suggestions: The above work at the trot to get my body more balanced and effective so I can help her out a bit more. I need to be able to sit whatever she throws at me completely level and even while asking for more forward from behind while still keeping her shoulders up and square. If I get off center, even slightly, she panics a bit. Secret weapon: Again, Ginger. If I ride correctly, she will usually go correctly.
Looks like most of the homework is for me. Right now, I'm the loser partner that Ginger has to pick up the slack for. Good thing I pay the bills ;)