|"What do you mean I 'was difficult?' I have to deal with your difficulties everyday!" -- Pig|
First? I'm constantly sitting right. When I try to sit left, my body ends up twisted in a strange way, and my right hip is stuck back. This shoves me in the back seat of my saddle and doesn't actually allow me to sink deeply onto my left seatbone.
Second? My right leg is constantly buried in Pig's side, while my left is usually floating somewhere off the side of him. This is partially because I have no weight on my left seatbone, and partially this is keeping me from being able to weight the seatbone. In addition, Guinness tunes out my right leg. That makes me feel I need to have it on constantly to keep his right haunch corralled. That's not acceptable.
|Left leg somewhere off the side of my horse. Or, as my trainer would remind me, "you look like a dog peeing on a hydrant." Sigh. Yes. I do. My weight is also right, my right hip is back, and my body is twisted.|
|My right leg is buried. My right seat is ON. My thigh has contact. This is a very active position, and has its place, but every photo looks like this. Oops.|
|Well, Lady? Get to your fixin'!|
Once he is listening, I make sure to have both lower legs in the right active position. I worked on shifting back my left leg, lengthening it and making sure it could come on when needed. Lengthening my left leg helped my left seatbone come back in contact with the saddle.
Finally, I put all of this to work in simple changes and collecting the canter. These exercises are where a deficient seat and inactive legs are most obvious. The work has been hard, but getting better. The best thing is that Pig is starting to really recognize my legs shifting position as a cue. That is exciting because it brings us to...
|That moment when you realize your trainer is back from Florida, and you've got embarrassing things to fix before she sees you...|
(Now, back to writing my thesis papers...)