Don’t worry i am only kidding. So today I arrived at the stables a new confident rider who rode incredibly well…hmmm not so much but baby steps and we will get there. I had my first private lesson with the stable owner and it went pretty well. Annie from cumbrian heavy horses had said to think more about my instructor leaving as a chance for me to take control more, and that my previous instructor has got me to a fabulous undreamt of place and now I need to take it forward.
With that mindset in place I had a pretty decent lesson. Learning similar things to what Pam had been working on with me. I had Td again (that horse will be pleased to see me one day 🙂 ) and we started off with getting the active walk and then working on my position again. I had a habit of gripping with my knees which is back! I think as I was a bit nervous some of my crappie habits snuck back in – the old hunchback canter briefly tried to resurrect itself Td and I both agree that won’t be happening on a regular basis!
I thought it would be a good idea to list the positives from today alongside some things to remember and work to improve.
- The difference when I unclamped my knees was immediately obvious Td lengthened his stride and walked much more freely. I will work on froggy legs while riding and while on the ground will try to loosen my hip flexors.
- I need to work with contact. This is something I am still learning about so I won’t be great for a while but hey. I need to notice when my reins are jerking, when my arms go rigid and for when I tilt forward. On each movement if something isn’t working I will check these things.
- Going into trot I tend to throw away the rein. From now on elbows back when I ask for trot with flexible arms so I am not rigid.
- In canter my weight in my feet disappeared. I have been working on that for a wee while so that frustrated me but hey maybe on Sunday I will get it again!
- I had lovely transitions once I had contact with Td. It was a simple change in pressure on the reins and we moved from trot to walk then to halt.
- I got a couple of good canters on the left rein while the right was scrappier we definitely improved as I started leaning back.
So plan of action for Sunday involves me walking in with a positive attitude and focusing on the things mentioned above. Oh and I promise a post on the March challenge is coming, in the meantime check out Jesse Anne O’s blog (which you should do anyway) for the excellent post she did on giving clothes away. Happy Friday folks.