Thursday, September 25, 2008

Riding Lesson

I had my first official riding lesson on Werther post sale today. I had to get him inside from the rain and Werther, and my retiree Wesley were all the way at the end of their paddock which was a pain. Whenever I go to get Werther in, Wesley always wanders over and bites Werther on the nose before I start leading him away. I like to think he is saying to Werther, "You better take care of her buddy, or you will have me to answer to".
We got off to a little shaky start, I think he was a little bit antsy because of the rain and thunder, but he would not stand when I tried to mount him today. It is very difficult for me if a horse does not stand perfectly still when I mount them. Since my left leg is my bad leg, I have to position the horse at the mounting block, drop the reins, walk up the mounting block, take both hands and physically lift my left foot into the stirrup and use my arm strength by using my hands to push off of his neck to swing my other leg around. If the horse is walking while I try to mount, I don't have enough strength in my left leg to push myself off. He has been pretty good up until now, especially in the indoor, because I let him crib on the railing to the viewing area while I get on, which I feel kind of bad about, but it gets the job done.
Andre did not say much at the walk and trot, but we did work on the canter transition. She told me to do several very quick walk trot transitions and to imagine shortening his body with each transition to help collect him and maintain impulsion for the canter transition without getting stuck in the extended trot. We did not jump, per say, but we did practice cantering over two pilled ground poles. I was nervous going to the poles the first time and I did not make a decision and he took the long one. I did not get left behind, which I was happy with, but I needed to stop and collect myself and reorganize after I landed.
The rest of the "jumps" were good, the key trainer phases today were heels down (as much as possible), centered body, shoulders back, and elbows forward. I had to redo my last attempt because on the second to last jump I had a momentary brain lapse focusing on all the above phrases and trying to will my body to do them, that I forgot to grab my neck strap (a piece of leather I hold on to to help my balance in two point). Overall, I was pretty happy with how the lesson went and I think Andre was pleased too, but I have a lot of work ahead of me.

1 comment:

planetlisa said...

That damned left leg - I can so relate. My left arm is annoying too. I'm working on getting them better. My balance/walking is so much better after I ride. It's been quite the journey. I hate to give out too much personal information here for the world to see, but all I can say is I'm at a great barn, have a great new trainer, and have learned so much from my horse.