Thursday, January 7, 2016

Ride 1.1

On Wednesday I took my second lesson on Missy and my first ride in 2016.
Because of all the snow and nasty weather we have been getting here, the horses haven't been able to go out like they normally do. So I had one very fidgety thoroughbred mare in the crossties!
In all honesty fidgety is an exaggerated word for it. Missy is actually a superbly well behaved horse and never worried me at all. She was very good for grooming and tacking up and mostly just looked for attention. Quite people oriented this girl is!
Lindsey lunged her for a few minutes before I got on, but it almost wasnt even needed.
So far the lessons have been about improving my strength. We started with a lap of walk to the left and then I had to pick up twopoint. Being off of a horse for two weeks nearly killed me here. I think I lasted two laps at the walk before my right leg was burning.
I will say here that I tend to be quite uneven in my body and it gets frustrating. Even though I feel straight and square in the saddle, I actually put a fair bit more weight in my right stirrup than in the left. But I have such a hard time feeling it except for the fact that my right side tires out faster. So I consciously make an effort to weight my left stirrup in the hope that it might help.
Anyways. After just murdering my calves at the walk, I had to pick up the posting trot and obviously my tired legs were not helping with the rhythm. Missy wasn't naughty about anything but she did tend to rush and slow down as she felt like it. For this we went back to the exercise that we did in my first lesson on her - using mt core muscles to control my posting in order to control her rhythm. I'm fairly good at posting but this is hard for me, especially when I'm relying solely on those core muscles and not adding any leg or rein to assist. But WOW, when it comes together and I can feel her trot smooth out and get so much more even, its fantastic!
Of course, I can usually only get that feeling for a few strides and then I lose the rhythm or my balance and have to start over.
We've also been doing twopoint at the trot but I'm slowly getting my hands off of Missy's neck and balancing properly. I know for some of you this is easy but not for me. Not yet! Lindsey keeps telling me to just move with her and I'm slowly getting the hang of absorbing the motion with my knees and ankles but I still end up falling forwards or backwards quite easily. Core muscles again, right? Someday I'll get it.
So basically after she turned my legs into jelly and gave me a few exercises to stretch out my hips (much needed!) we were done.
And then I had to halt Missy, drop my stirrups and just sit there for a few minutes before I could safely get off.
Ride 1 of 2016 is in the books!

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