Thursday, May 22, 2014

Shoulders Back!

Yesterday (Wednesday) was our first real fitness session so far this year. I meant to start sooner, but time just kept slipping away from me. That being said, doing it yesterday in the heat of the afternoon was not the smartest idea I ever had. I did not ride, since I'm not confident or fit enough to ride at more than a walk for very long yet. So we did everything in hand, moving around the property to keep her interested. 
10 minutes of walk to warm up - a little sluggish in the heat.
Four 5-minute trot sets, separated by 2-minute walking periods for rest.
2 minutes of canter.
And 10 more minutes of walking to cool down.

I was pretty impressed with how she did. Me? I got overheated and nearly collapsed, but she was quite good! She was pretty sweaty and breathing hard, but still had her head up and could likely have gone on a little longer, if I had asked her to.
We won't do "fitness" until next week (Tuesday and Friday are scheduled) but I'm very happy with where we are at. Well... mostly. Her fitness level still surpasses mine, which is why my personal exercise schedule is as difficult as it is. Yup. :)

Today. It was dressage day and the focus in my head was on bending and transitions. I set up some cones in a bendy shape and used that for part of it. Lady was distracted and not totally present for most of the time, but overall she was obedient and willing. I'm not sure yet what to do to keep her from drifting so much or respond when I ask her to bend away the object of interest. She will bend her head/neck usually (although I have to hold it there fairly strongly) but will not yield her shoulder away from home, person, whatever.
Anyways, she was pretty good overall and I finally got pictures so I can look at how my position is. 
Yay! Sort of...

My shoulders need to come back. I've gotten better lately about keeping my lower back aligned correctly, but I need to build more strength in my shoulders and upper/middle back.

Don't really like this picture, although Lady's face is cute :)  Anyways, good example of how my right hip tends to drop and I go crooked. So does my saddle. And my shoulders.

Not a bad workout by any means. Mostly my takeaways are that I need to get my shoulders back and relaxed. And I need to remember not to lock out my elbows. I think I also need to bring my legs back, but not sure on that one.
What do you think?  :)

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