Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Challenges of Being Upright and Balanced

Last Sunday I dragged myself out to the barn to ride. Despite being exhausted from three full days of volunteering at IEA (fun moments included writing so many comments on dressage tests that I lost feeling in my fingers, getting trapped in the judges box while rising flood waters attempted to drown the dressage competitors, and attempting to collect the "Muddiest Golf Cart" award), I was determined to have a good, but short, ride. Honestly, I was pretty surprised at how good the ride ended up being. And, I had another breakthrough.

You know once you focus intently on one thing, you seem to forget all about/lose control of something else? Well, that's been happening with me in regards to contact. I've been obsessing about my upper body, and the way I've been interacting with the reins. That's fine, as it was pretty needed focus. But, I'm better there now, and my lower body has been suffering from the lack of attention.

Guinness started letting me know that maybe I should focus on my seat and legs when he refused to go forward on Sunday. He wasn't bad, or rearing or anything, just insistent that I wasn't doing it right. So, I started looking for the reasons. Hmm...
1: Lack of a driving aid from the seat
2: No support from my legs, causing me to pinch at my knee and pivot forward, destroying any drive I actually had from the seat.
3. Constantly shifting my weight with the bend, forgetting that sometimes there's this magic thing called "straight"

Whoops! So, now I'm in seat bootcamp. This has meant lots of sitting trot, as I can feel and control my seat more. I tend to perch in the posting trot (damn you IHSA hunters!), and it's nearly impossible for me to fix. Sitting makes it much easier to keep my legs on. I have to sit at the upper levels anyway, might as well get better now. Guinness has offered greater levels of relaxation, bend and bouncy neckism, and I'm pleased to say that my contact has remained steady while I do this - so far.
Check out our new (to us) bridle! No more too-big-for-Pig burgundy/black! Please ignore Captain SnarkyPants and his pained expression. Working wasn't his thing that day...

5 comments:

  1. Haha, Captain Snarkypants is a great name :) IhSA hunters made me have perch seat too, but it's okay because I still do the hunters.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am really thinking of getting a dropped nose band for Speedy G ... still looking into it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I nominated you for an award today. :0)
    http://www.bakersfielddressage.com/1/post/2013/06/tag-youre-it.html

    ReplyDelete