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


Golden the Pony Girl said...

Whoohoo great to hear. I am working on core strengthing right now as well. Fun times!
I find that Bodhi gets stiff and above the bridle and does his little scoot thing when I revert to my bad habits as well. Horses are amazing mirrors of our own weak spots aren't they? It is great to have an aha moment though and sounds like you had one. Now you have a workable solution I am sure you guys will improve dramatically now!

Kate said...

That is just so amazing! It's wonderful that you have a good teacher who can help you work through these position issues - they can be really hard to deal with without someone looking on. Isn't it incredible how our horses will wait for us to get it right and then come to meet us? It's an incredible feeling.

Claire said...

wonderful when it's right isn't it, and then it all gets a lot easier!

Danni said...

Very pleased for you :D

Jane said...

I'm glad my witterings made some sort of sense - good write up BTW, not that I'd expect any less from you!

The look on BOTH of your faces when you'd "got" her in the trot was just fab :-)

And don't be downhearted when you end up playing the got it-lost it game for ages - if you got it perfect first time, you'd never learn the MORE important skills you need to get it BACK.

Then when under additional tension (eg competition etc) it would be lost and you wouldn't know how to get it back.

By actively seeking got it-lost it moments, you build on your 10,000 repetitions so quickly that it will be your automatic response in no time!

Believe me, there will be times when you wish you could just keep it, but let it go and use any lost it moments to your advantage in the long run :-)

Keep up the good work.

And I repeat what I said about how wonderful A is looking in the flesh at the mo -she couldn't look any better and is such a credit to you!


PS and seeing your lightbulb moments really helped me too. By seeing you do to such great effect all the things I have to remember as well, I went schooling in the hilly field yesterday and got the best trot circles ever, even downhill. I admit I quit after 20mins as my abs were complaining and I didn't want to lose the moment! :-)