Sunday, 12 July 2009

One step forwards...............

TWO STEPS BACK!!!! Grrrrrrrr!!!

Rode yesterday and it was a tad frustrating to say the least!! She was in bionic mode and I could barely let get her to focus in walk :-< In the end I just let her canter round and round to blow off a bit of steam! Afterwards we DID get some nice work - very nice in fact, but I had to work a lot harder to get it than in my lesson :sad: Once I get back off my holiday im gonna treat myself to a little block of lessons until I feel my position is a bit more confirmed - im worried to death that im still not **right** :-\

On one hand, im relcutant to let Antsje just 'run' as im not sure this is helping with the 'stay with me' issues I have - on the other hand, maybe im better off getting into trot and canter early on and THEN getting her to focus on me?

Any thoughts??

Friday, 10 July 2009

With a little help from my friends :-)

Well after so much constructive critique from my last video I made a real effort to get Antsje to relax and work forwards into the bridle and although I thought we had made improvements, nothing prepared me for being BLOWN AWAY by ny lesson with Jane last night :-D GOD I have missed some instruction! And by getting ME back into balance, Antsje miraculously worked in a nice relaxed rhythm with no excessive mouthiness - funny that aint it!!! hahaha!!

******RIDER ERROR***** Duuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrr!!!!!

So what did we do??? Well first off, I have gradually adopted a 'waterski-ing' position with my arse stuck out and my legs shoved forwards :-0 Plus I seem to have a lot of weight in my stirrups with jammed down heels Grrrrrrrr!!!!

So we started by actually putting my stirrups up a couple of holes, realigning my leg by deepening and rotating the thigh and bringing my lower leg back. Now this isnt something new to me, in fact the things we worked on are old problems, things I thought I had sorted, but obviously over time I have crept back into my old 'default' habits :'-(
So with my new secure position we went round in walk to start with and really worked on keeping my legs in position - one thing that helped was to think of keeping my heels turned out, which also helped keep my knees turned in! Then we began to work on using my core to slow the walk right down, and then releasing in my seat to allow the walk to go on, rather than the use of the reins. Of course, I didnt just throw the contact away, and she had a framework to work into, but it made me aware of trying to keep the same contact rather than getting into this shortening the reins as she shortens the neck.
This started working quite well and I was being able to slow her right down without her tensing and sucking her neck back to me, so we decided to move onto trot!!

OH DEAR!!!! hahahahahaha

I reverted!! So we stopped and discussed how I was going to manage the trot while at a standstill. I have to try and stop putting the weight in my heels and think of rising from my knee. Also I have to think about placing my butt in the same place in the front part of the saddle at each 'sit' rather than sticking it out and tipping forwards. One thing I am doing is collapsing in the middle, and once I made the connection of rising **straight** I started to get it. By this I dont mean rising straight 'up' but more that my body was aligned straight throughout the arc of the rise and not crumpling up in the middle ;-)

So off we went again - my mantras are 'I am KNEELING' 'I am SITTING' 'My feet are flat!' 'BREATHE'
If I prepared really well for the tranistion and I made my first rise count and Antsje didnt pull the rug out from underneath me, then I seemed to be able to get with her. If I was out of sync from the start I just couldnt get it back!
There were times that it felt really awful! My body was defying me at every moment, and because I wasnt with Antsje and she certainely wasnt with me, she would do her scoot and run thing, and we lost it :-(
Then, there were times of absoloute BLISS!!! Where I just GOT IT! And we were together and Antsje would WAIT for me, and her back was just up, and she was reaching for the bridle - not dumping into my hands, but genuinley telescoping the neck and filling out the bridle!! It was BLOODY BRILLIANT!!! The feeling was just blissful, and I know I had the stupidest grin on my face as we went round as light a s a feather!!

I had to work very hard at keeping my core firm and not collapsing, cos as soon as I did, we lost the connection. My abs were killing by the end lol!!! BUT I finally discovered the way to engage my core and SIT into her and for ME to dictate the rhythm for a change - and now im dead nervous in case Ive forgot when I ride tommorrow!!!

So im just thrilled as I sit here typing this out as I feel that I have been put back on track and now I have re-established that 'feel' I can work on it until Jane comes out again :-)

I WILL try and get some more video - it does make such a diference for people to see what im talking about and give me some pointers, so thankyou all :-D