Now that I've shared a couple of good rides, it's time to break down why those rides have been so good, what has changed positionally and what it has done for Connor and I. Biomechanics nuts, this one is for you.
My trainer noted two things to the right:
1. He tips me to the left and keeps me there, and I need to keep my right seatbone "glued" to the saddle.
2. His canter moves laterally to the outside with every stride to the right.
And to the left:
1. He gets heavy in the right (outside) rein, and the solution for that is more right leg.
2. He really needs support from the outside leg in that direction to encourage him to bring the outside of his body around the inside.
So I started thinking about this. When she corrected my right seatbone thing, it felt like my crotch was over the pommel to the right. It wasn't, and it actually made it easier to keep the top of my outside thigh against the saddle and my outside leg on him. Also, that's the only position in which I can get him to half pass - makes sense now why the left was so much easier than the right half pass right from the beginning. (I wasn't sitting on the right side).
|August 2014 trainer ride video still.|
In that position, I could really put him together by half halting in the outside rein, then imagining that I was riding the outside seatbone to the inside ear. That's position and line of thought is where that medium trot came from. I seriously felt the leg-to-hand cycle of energy.
Then I thought about that concept going to the left, where I have a harder time putting him together. That's how I realized that my entire pelvis is still in right bend positioning when going to the left, even when my torso is in left bend positioning, which explains why I hate being on the left rein and find it uncomfortable and blame it on Connor's inability to bend. Newsflash: he's doing the best he can at bending left when my reins say 'bend left' but my seat and legs say 'bend right'.
|Horse doesn't have a problem bending left. I have a problem preventing him from bending left.|
I have started focusing on that feeling I get on the right when I go to the left, of the top of my outside thigh touching the saddle, and really making sure my pelvis and torso are aligned together in asking for left bend. Or as my trainer says "make sure the saddle is facing in the direction you are going." Often, mine is not, but that's changing now.