Left Bend Nirvana

I've skirted around this discovery for a long time now, but it wasn't until my trainer's "he requires so much leg to keep together" comment that everything came together for me.  I was almost all of the way there in that last post, all that was left to do was execute.

When I thought I was using my left leg before, it was really just in place, inactive compared to my right.  Tonight, Connor was once again completely stiff going left, but first level Dressage soft and through on the right.  The difference was dramatic.  So I put my left leg firmly on him when I asked for that softening in the way we worked on in my lesson, really overexaggerated it, (and made sure I wasn't blocking with the right on accident) and this happened:


No wait, well, okay, that happened too, my inner thigh was on fire, but this is what actually happened:

LEFT BEND NIRVANA
Rinse, repeat, lightbulb moment.  I can think of so many times over the last year in which I should have realized this more fully, but didn't.  It's amazing that thinking about one little comment my trainer made two weeks ago has caused such introspective riding and progress on my own, and I made sure to tell her that.  

9 comments:

  1. I love moments like that when everything comes together. It never seems to be as easy to maintain afterwards as it should be but just the realization is so powerful in changing behavior :)

    Part of why I love reading your blog is that you share these things and it not only helps with my own riding but gives me more to think about, or a different way to think about things.

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad to help! I think you hit the nail on the head, realizing it is so important but only a tiny step in the process toward changing that behavior permanently. Now the work begins.

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  2. Just to comment on Piccolopony's second remark, I really like your blog too because you're great at analysing this stuff and then expressing yourself really well when you describe your Eureka moments. There's a few other bloggers who are good at this too (Calm Forward Straight is one and Memoirs of a Horse Girl is another, just to mention two!)
    I don't always comment but I do like reading about this analytical stuff, when I start doing arena work again when the weather cools down I hope I'll take some of your discoveries with me!

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    1. Thank you! I am the same with your blog, I love reading it and typically read them on my mobile phone, which makes commenting a challenge. But I always read and enjoy!

      I have followed those blogs myself for a long time for the same reason. It's fun when it feels like auditing a clinic, I think, and having a personal connection to the other person's journey just makes it better.

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  3. This is very interesting, Jen. You have basically captured the reason why I love riding and dressage.

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  4. I feel like I have so many lightbulb moments that I can't keep track of them and end up having them multiple times a year lol

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    1. ^this.

      I often feel as though I don't take enough time to really process my lightbulb moments and then I forget them and 4-6 months later I have the light bulb moment again. Whoops.

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  5. Lightbulb moments are the best!

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