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Lisa's Blog post # 3
It’s so great to see the sun again!
Our farrier was running really late today so Lesley had time to give me a lesson while we waited. Yay!
I feel like an onion – she peels off one layer and gets to work on the next one! I’ve worked on correcting my perpetually collapsed left hip and today Lesley was ready to work on the next layer – I think I’d call it a “twisted upper body”. I’ve been riding with my shoulders twisted to the left, causing me to sit off center and forcing my hips and legs to go askew. Why do I contort my body in so many weird ways when I get on a horse? It sounds like I have some brutal deformity but I am actually quite normal looking when I’m on the ground! I promise!
She noticed that my posture going one direction at the trot was so much better than when we went the other direction. I figured out that my seat bones were not even – I was riding with my left seat bone weighted more than my right. At the canter, going to the left, my outside foot wanted to stick out away from Cotton’s side and go forward. Going to the right, Lesley said she could actually see my back as I asked for canter! Both of these were fixed when she had me position my shoulders correctly. I know I was finally doing it right because it felt so…right. It felt like I was actually connected to Cotton and not just sitting on top of him!
We also continued to work on my usuals – closed fingers so my elbows can feel the contact instead of my fingers, posting slower to get him to go slower, using my leg to get him to move on instead of posting higher, opening my chest, not leaning forward, not looking down, not lurching him into a canter – I can keep going. There was one “aha” moment I had about some little detail and now I can’t remember what that was – hopefully Lesley will know.
Tomorrow I am going to work on the canter. He thinks that whenever I get up into 2-point or canter him straight it means “go fast”, it’s an OTTB thing, so I need to work on getting him to rethink that! He also needs to learn to trust me that I’m not going to yank on his mouth every time I ask for a lower gear. Going slow has been stressful for him I guess!
Maybe I’ll be able to do some of what I learned today all by myself tomorrow :) I think Cotton, Lesley and I are all ready to move on!
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