The Nerves Receed (Kind of)

So last Wednesday it was almost as though my instructor had read my blog and opted to put me on P again – I reckon part of it has to do with the fact he is now available again during the week, the lass who had him on loan can now only ride at the weekend. Well it went much better, I had a better attitude coming in to the lesson and also part of it was I didn’t feel I could write another post so soon after the last talking about my nerves as regards P. 😉

We did have a single spook at the end but that was mainly because he thought I was going to ask him to canter again and actually we were about to cool down – he was pretty puffed out. We focused on keeping his interest and getting him into correct bend. My instructor was also teaching me the start of “shoulder-in” which I found very helpful with the idea of getting him out into the corners and stopping his shoulders coming in. P found this really tricky, but he tried his hardest and it probably didn’t help that this was my first shot at it. In order to keep him enthusiastic we did some walking pirouettes as he can do those – this involved us walking up and down the centre line with him turning in the walk but not on a circle. Hmmm not sure that is a good description, it is like he is crossing his front legs to turn around almost on the spot but walking forward at all times – anyway he is pretty good at it.

We had good canters and good canter transitions although we did miss one and on another did a dramatic swerve across the school! My seat was pretty good again it is definitely improving on the right-rein as well although the left is better for me. On the left rein we were working on me carrying my hands high and keeping the contact on him while pushing him on in the corners. It was great to feel the change from P using his front legs to using his back legs and really driving the canter. It felt good to enjoy riding P again, as I mentioned to my instructor he is the one I am likely to come off again but actually I don’t mind!

So Td and P are what we would call best friends, proper best friends but Td is a little more needy than P. Td always likes to be able to see P and will throw a temper tantrum in the stable if P isn’t in the one next door. But actually it is sweet in a way so after Sunday’s lesson I tried to keep Td calm while I dealt with untacking and rugging him up without the calming presence of P. I am definitely happier handling Td and know to ALWAYS wear a hat around him in the stable – clocked me once in the head without it, saw many, many stars 🙂

Sunday’s lesson marked the start of jump-tastic January or whatever the stables are calling it. No actual jumps but instead practising forward seat, in halt, in trot and then using a barrel – no seriously I have been moving a barrel about using my arse. It was good to do as I haven’t been as balanced in forward seat as I would like so getting it feeling right was good. Well I say feeling right it actually felt very wrong, I thought my hamstrings were going to snap but actually that is how I am to sit for jumping, to be fair my hamstrings are pretty tight at the best of times so the pain doesn’t bother me just means more yoga!!

The rest of the lesson was quite fun bar one of my lesson buddies take an unexpected detour from the back of B and landing on the school floor. She isn’t hurt but her confidence has been a little dented, which is a shame as she was doing brilliantly. We did a good warm up and some quick canters to prepare for the forward seat practise, and I am happy to report that I had another good canter in my new correct canter seat – this time on the right rein and on a different horse. I even got Td in correct bend for the canter, out into the corners (only on one go though)  using my inside leg and kept him going a good one and a half circuits of the school and we did the downwards transition when I chose to although the trot to walk one was somewhat abrupt!

All in all a fun week at the stables, I am really chuffed that the canter is coming together more for me and while I am nervous about the idea of jumping again anything that helps with my balance in forward seat for cantering is good. Might mean that next time on the beach I don’t feel like I am about to dig a hole in the sand with my face! Now off to do that yoga 🙂

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