Friday, 7 August 2009


For a GOOD RIDE! Well, the lord has thrown me a lifeline hahahahaha!!! This morning we have had a really good session with Antsje listening and being soft At all times. Yes there were moments of unbalance where she came against the hand – BUT – she listened and allowed me to rebalance her through the seat rather than do her panic and rushing off routine YAY! We have had so many rides where I have had to get quite tough with her and it has been very argumentative and I HATE it – and even though we end with some nice work, I really do not like having to fall out with her to get her there.

This morning she tried really hard and when we went into trot she stayed soft and relaxed which allowed me to get into the zone and therefore KEEP the nice trot! On the right rein she is still balancing on her inside shoulder a bit and tending to flex to the outside, so I worked on exercises in walk to help engage the inside hind. We did some Shoulder in on a circle and then we worked down the long side doing a little shoulder in, then half pass to the ¾ line and then keeping the bend leg yield back to the track and then continuing in shoulder in. Then I asked for trot again and it was much improved. I was then able to get some leg yield steps to the outside of the circle and ask for inside flexion by turning my thumb over and knuckles down and when she flexed I returned my hand to the normal position and tried to keep the bend from the inside leg. When she is working in the correct flexion the trot feel really nice! We did the same exercises on the Left rein, but this time instead of focusing on the inside flexion, I concentrated on her staying on the circle by controlling her outside shoulder with the rein and my outside leg as she tend to naturally fall out on this rein – which is good for the engagement of inside hind and inside bend, but she is not really working properly.

The main thing that is frustrating is ME!!!! Even with her being submissive today, I am still struggling to keep my arse in the saddle! And if she wasn’t so co-operative today, she could have easily just threw me about and we would be back to the whole argument again of her rushing, me having to overuse the reins, her rushing even more because she HATES feeling hemmed in, and so on and so on! Wednesday night I got it! I could really sit into her, but this morning I wasn’t quite there – it wasn’t terrible, but I wasn’t effective with my seat. I know I tend to collapse my tummy, round my back and stick my bum out when I try and SIT DOWN and it is just such a crap and useless position to take! But its now become a habit, and I feel really horrible when I try and change it. I find it difficult to engage the core without getting stiff and tense everywhere else which then makes me ‘ping’ I know I have to have a certain amount of relaxation in my body as does Antsje, but I haven’t got that strength yet to turn it on in certain parts of my body and keep the rest relaxed. Its so FREAKIN frustrating, I cant tell you!!! And even when Antsje is working nicely like today, it is one hell of a movement to absorb! I suppose its just practice, practice, practice – but with other life commitments like work and kids, I just cant fit any more riding time in! I can realistically ride 4-5 times a week, which isn’t bad I suppose, but I wonder if its enough with a horse like Antsje?

So things to work on:
Engaging the right inside hind
Keeping the inside flexion to the right with the inside leg
Varying the tempo in trot so Antsje learns to ‘come back’ to me from my rising
Getting into the zone with my rising and SITTING!!!!!
Being aware of my hands!! They are tending to be a little ‘backwards’ for my liking!! But since we have this ‘lighter contact’ I can at least recognise it and this will help me STOP IT!

Things that were GOOD!
Antsje listened to my seat today!!!
Antsje stayed soft in my hand which made it easier for me to ‘feel’ any blockages and therefore help to correct them
Antsje was using herself much better in trot today and it was nice and swinging
The lateral work was much better, less resistant and more fluid :-)



Anonymous said...

Sounds like you got some good work done!

I have a horse who tends to want to rush and lean on my hands and we've been working on some things to deal with that - so I know where you're coming from!

Golden the Pony Girl said...

Sounds like you guys are making headway! I bet you have a better seat than you think you do too. :) maybe you could ride some other horses to gain confidence in your seat? That is what I like to do at least when I am feeling a little jarred about and I feel like I am clenching. Just a thought.

Claire said...

try wearing a back support to help keep your own body upright - even worn the normal way round it works, and you'll recall that heather says she has people where them the wrong way round, for the same purpose... save you having to think about it until the muscle memory develops!