Monday, January 25, 2016

Something Happy + Ride 1.3

So I've been trying to post every day, and I worked really hard on getting ahead on writing blog posts for when school starts so that I wouldn't fall behind. And then school started and  suddenly I realized that it wasn't writing the blog posts, it was finding a wifi connection to post them with (I don't have an internet connection at my house). So Thursday and Friday were empty because of that. Whoops. I'll use the posts I wrote for them as filler later, I suppose. Things should go smoother from here on out.
What was something that made you happy this past weekend? Besides it just being the weekend. Probably my favorite part of the weekend was driving up to a small town yesterday to meet a friend!  She moved to a city about 2.5 hours north of me to attend college and we're both in fine arts (I'm music, she's musical theatre). We spent no less than five hours telling each other about our schools and our projects for the semester and what we wanted to do with our lives, and all the exciting things we should do in the area. It's awesome to have a friend nearby that I can go make plans with again!  I was so very tired last night, but I had way too much fun, so it was all worth it!

Last Thursday I had my second riding lesson on Missy. I had to really hustle to get down to the barn on time since one of my classes gets out at 1:20 and my lesson was supposed to start at 2. Cutting it a bit close, definitely.  Anyways, Missy was super chill. She came out of her turnout and practically slept in the cross ties while I groomed and tacked her up. Honestly, fine by me. I was coming off of my first round of classes for the semester and was already getting tired.
Because she was so calm and relaxed, of course I had to really push her for a proper walk once we were in the arena. Especially once Lindsey had me pick up two point. It is much more difficult to stay balanced in two point when your horse is plodding along with very little rhythm. Anyways, we did that, and then picked up rising trot for a lap or two. I'm working super hard on getting the correct diagonal and I think I finally got it in this lesson!  Of course, I still have to check it and fix it when I pick up the trot, but it finally clicked in my brain what was the right footfall to sit on! Very happy with myself for that. Now to put in some practice and really drive it home!  Rising trot for a while, with me trying really hard to weight my stirrups evenly, and then two point. Of course. Two point is a necessity, apparently. I can go a lot longer now without killing my legs, and I'm also getting better at not touching Missy's neck. She was still being very slow, so I had to sit every once in a while and push her forward a bit, but it was all good. I think I eventually managed to get three quarters of the way around the arena with my hands up. Big improvement! And we did at least four laps of trotting two point before my leg started burning - yes, only my right leg starts burning. Struggles of being so uneven.
We did the sit two, stand two rhythm at the trot as well and for whatever reason, I've managed to figure this one out and it doesn't throw me off as often as it was doing the first time. I felt super accomplished about this and then when your teacher compliments it, even better!
Cross tie pictures are all I have right now, sorry :(

This lesson we actually picked up the canter - apparently she was waiting for my two point to improve? Anyways. I have a hard time getting my aids correct for the canter, probably because its seat, legs, and hands all at the same time and coordination does not like me, but Missy is fantastic and picks up the right lead almost every time with no issues. I really focused on not leaning back - dressage habit maybe? - and that improved, but I was still losing my left stirrup. Lindsey's solution helped me out a ton - she had me really stretch my calf muscle, pushing my heel down and opening up the knee angle, and then not putting weight in my knees, but in my feet. Basically, heels down and keep the lower leg on the horse. Charming miracle!  I think we cantered a lap and a half where I felt like my left leg was actually approaching solid! 

Anyways, much improved, both from what Lindsey said and also I could feel it. I'm impatient to keep working on these things so that we can get even better. I know most of it is all simple stuff, but since I haven't taken very many lessons in my life, I need help with getting some of the basics really really solid.

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