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Introduction part 3
I’m just going to say it … I am 49 years OLD! What do I think I’m doing?! Lesley
has assured me that I can handle him but I’m having my doubts at this point. I
told her that her job as my professional coach was to teach me how to ride this
thing before I lose my confidence.
My husband and I have accepted the fact that riding is a more risky
sport than say… tennis. I have
already had to recover from a compression fracture when I got bucked off a different
horse a few years ago and I don’t want to inconvenience my family again for
doing something stupid! Riding
definitely stretches my faith.
few of my weaknesses as a rider are as follows: A general lack of ability to ride correctly - I never even
knew you could control a horse with your seat until I met Lesley and Cotton is
the first horse that has responded to any of my efforts. Dressage is still a foreign language to
me. I have a lack of
experience going XC. I have difficulty in being soft and supple, especially when
things get a little dicey - Cotton reacts to my lack of tact by getting hyped
up, I get tense and rigid when he gets hyped up – you can see the vicious
a few attempts at jumping him, I still can’t get him under control enough to do
more than one jump at a time – let alone a whole course – and I knew taking him
out XC would be downright scary. As
Lesley and I scratch our heads as to what has caused Cotton’s new-found
exuberance, she decides to upgrade his bit. She put him in a running martingale and a bubble bit on the
mildest ring. I saw a difference
in him on the flat immediately!
The extra leverage is just enough to give him a respect for my hand, bring
his head down from periscope level and cause him to carry himself so he listens
to my seat. So far so good!
first time I jumped him with this new set up, however, was a complete
disaster. He got missile-lock on
the upcoming jump, I grabbed his mouth and sent him into orbit! Lesley said his eyes weren’t even
directed at the jump because he was looking back at me wondering why this crazy
lady was riding him! I got him all wound up and ended up getting dumped at a
refusal. In general there were
quite a few bucks and leaps. The rest of the lesson was spent fixing the
problem I had just created. He
ended up going over the jump repeatedly but we were both exhausted and my hopes
of making it to the May 7th event were dashed for good.
next week Lesley schooled him for me.
She discovered that he had actually been more behind my leg than she
could tell from the ground and he was not responding to my leg aids –
especially my left leg. He
did not leap or buck even once with her, though she did say he got a little light
up front when she had to correct him one time. Since he’s such a quick, eager student he caught on right
away. When I rode him a few days
later I was quick to correct and reward his laziness to my leg. I focused on
keeping my hands soft and supple. His trot work was absolutely amazing – I was riding the best
horse I had ever been on in my life!
Then I asked for canter… more leaping, maybe even a little buck upon departure. What am I doing wrong?! I have a lesson again tomorrow. I’ll let you know what happens.
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