Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mind Blown

I finally did this thing this morning. A lot of you are familiar with it.

It's called... riding. In a saddle.

Yes, I did it! Aren't you proud of me? :-)

Lady says that it really wasn't that big of a deal....
I got my tack out again and actually saddled up. Yay for me not being lazy! Sort of.
Anyways, I added a shim of sorts to the middle of the saddle to see if it would help the fit. It kind of did. Before I got on, the pressure felt even the whole way along. But when I got off, she had sweat marks at the back of the saddle and dry spots in the middle again.
I'll be taking her for a longer ride yet this week that we can get some really honest sweat to happen and then it will be time to come up with a plan of action.

But that is not the point of this post! What I meant to ramble about was that I had a sort of mind blowing moment this morning while riding.
I finally recognized the purpose and importance of the outside rein, especially while turning!

She finds my discovery rather boring too.
I've read about the outside rein, but somehow always chocked it up as being something I would learn more about once I was more experienced. Once Lady and I were working better in all gaits and in different areas. Etc.

So far, I have always guided the nose with the inside rein and the rest of the body with my legs. It has worked. Sort of. Except that we have issues with drifting over, resistance to the inside rein, bad corners, and so on.
You would think I would have realized what I was missing, considering how well this horse neckreins. She was, after all, a rodeo and endurance pony.
Anyways, I tried it today when we were riding through the vineyard and making sharp turns. Basically, don't drop the outside rein, but use it lightly to support the inside rein and my leg.
Bam. There it was. I got a lovely round turn. No, it wasn't perfect, but it was a huge amount better than what I usually get.

This dressage thing is actually lots of fun. More on that later though.
And this horse. She is certainly no schoolmaster, nor is she a crazy maniac of a horse. She is forgiving, but she has no problems with showing me where I'm going wrong, and she responds so well once I figure out what it is she is trying to tell me.

What are your thoughts on the outside rein and its purposes?