Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Floppy

The drugs and/or time are doing their job and fingers crossed The Midge seemed almost as good as new last night. She was lazy and still had a tiny bit of a runny nose, but she was more than willing and able to play for our dressage lesson.

I'm getting spoiled right now because it seems like everyone I normally share lessons with is on vacation. That means private lessons at the usual group rate, and I'm learning a ton. I love my lesson mates, but if I could afford/trainer had time for private lessons once a week I'd be all over it - the extra focus and feedback are invaluable, and the ability to really focus on whatever problem I bring on the day is very helpful. Also, on my own I tend to pick EC's brain and do an extra dressage ride...in our Monday group the teenagers are usually pushing for a jumping lesson :) The flip side to all that attention and not taking breaks to set courses is that it's very hard to take a break and/or hide when you're the only one in the lesson! No slacking off for the Midge and I.

We started with a bunch of leg yield zig zags. 4 to 5 strides off the left leg, straight for a stride, 4 to 5 off the right, repeat. This tied in nicely with our figure eight exercise from last week...changing the bend frequently keeps the Midge on her toes, and stops her from getting tired and popping a shoulder or running through the bridle. Eventually we moved to "grown up" leg yields from the center line and I was able to keep her straight and honest from the outside aids without needing to add in any forward and straight strides. Next time we'll try some leg yields in canter. Such a cool feeling, my baby pony is getting stronger and more grown up all the time!

Next up, walk pirouette to canter. Here's where it became apparent I am not "floppy" enough. I never thought I'd hear any riding coach tell me that, but hey...I guess if someone tells me my lower leg shouldn't move and my hands should stay here and my shoulders there, I take it to the next level, lol. I dropped my stirrups for the remainder of the lesson and was instructed to sit up tall and to feel like my legs are just kind of hanging there, "flopping around", NOT being used as a base of support with a light seat...sigh, guess who is still riding like she's still in that "no hands/no stirrups" jumping lesson from two weeks ago? Anyway, I did my best to follow instructions and it actually felt all sorts of wiggly and loose and wrong as far as what previous instructors might have said, but from a basic riding perspective it felt completely right and so.much.easier. I'm 99% sure me feeling floppy and loose actually = normal riding. It certainly felt a lot less forced and difficult. We did our standard walk to canter, trot a stride, canter a few, trot a stride, canter etc and it was an entirely new level of soft and awesome. Poor Midge, such a simple position fix made all the difference. No stirrups for me for the foreseeable future...at least on the flat.  As a rider, I'm enjoying being at a multi discipline barn...it's a learning experience for sure, but interesting to be able to learn and feel how the different riding positions and styles influence myself and my horse.

This picture (from facebook) reminded me of Midge somehow....;)

3 comments:

  1. Oh my god- that pony!

    I am jealous of you and your ability to have regular lessons

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  2. Sounds like an amazing lesson! I love the picture of making your legs floppy, I struggle with that.

    LOVE that picture, I saved it from Facebook as well ;)

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  3. Private lessons at group rates are my FAVORITE haha

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