Monday, January 10, 2011

Sit Back.... Relax.

Ok, so there was snow on Sunday, but I was proactive enough to change my lesson to Saturday so we still got to ride.  It was a short lesson and we seemed to focus mostly me this time.  Oooh! and we got to leg yield.

So my new mantra is "Lean back and relax".  Trainer told me this about 100 times.  It seems I lean forward and try to hold onto Dexter with my thighs.  As soon as trainer says "Relax your back, bring your shoulders back"  I can feel Dexter relax his back and move more elevated.  So I know I'm hindering him, plus the sitting trot is way easier when I don't have every muscle rigid and I'm aligned right for the shock absorption.  I dont' know where I got the habit of leaning forward, but I know its been hard to break.  I swear I feel like this when she says I'm finally perpendicular.

So Dexter may have some easy rides this week where we just trot around while I remember to lean back and relax. 

We also worked on transitions within the canter... oh boy.  Poor Dexter, we have been working so hard on keeping him forward at the canter, that the thought of collection or slowing down is completely foreign to him. So most of our transitions within the gait ended up being canter-longer canter-trot-canter-longer canter-trot.  But that's ok, trainer swears we got one or 2 strides of a shorter canter just before he broke into the trot.  I'm not sure I believe her, but it gives us something to work on.

To finish up we worked on some leg yielding.  I was having trouble at the posting trot so we did it at the sitting trot.  This was good because it made me focus on a lot of things at once, also not letting me obsess with one or the other.

Dexter did really well at the leg yielding, we weren't crossing any arenas or anything, but we were getting a few consistent half steps over, without popping shoulders or just turning his head.  I think that was what we  were doing when I first got him and thought we were leg yielding great. 

One main lesson I got from this session was that Dexter is doing well enough that I really need to focus on myself now.  I'm holding him back and that's never good.  And the other main lesson was to accept small victories.  A lot of what we've done so far were the basics so I could see a major change, more forward, more rhythm, more contact, etc.  Now that the basics are set and we are getting to the more specialized things the changes will be sublte, we won't be able to go from an extended canter to a collected canter in 3 strides and leg yield from the center line to B.  I have to take it a stride at a time.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Please no snow, please no snow...

That has become my new mantra as I check the weather everyday leading up to my lessons.  We have been fortunate lately to have some clear days even through December.  But as the winter wears on I worry, I know at some point I'm not going to be able to fit a lesson in every 2 weeks.  And even though I take my lessons in the indoor, and could ride in the snow, the 48 miles to the lesson may get a little treaterous.  So my next lesson is on Sunday and right now we have a 30% change of snow.

Everyone with me now....

Please no snow, please no snow, please no snow.....