NK Lesson Wrap-Up: Not Good

My lesson with NK last week was...not good.

Good pony, stupid rider.

I mean, it was not good in that adult amateur sort of way where you learn an important lesson, and hope to Jesus the trainer you're riding with knows you're more capable than what you're displaying in that particular 45 minute stretch of time.  (She did).

I should have known better than to not ride for four days and then take him to a lesson.  But, it was hot, and he has so much winter coat already, and then some friends I haven't seen in years came into town for dinner the night before the lesson and...excuses excuses.

#lovemypixio

I know the first ride back after a break isn't worth taking the time to ship out for a lesson, and I did it anyway.  Lesson learned, again.

But it wasn't all bad.  We needed a CTJ butt kicking.  I've let my new position slip a bit.  My reins are too long.  I cannot get my boobs off my ribcage.  All three of those things plus Connor's lack of desire to engage his engine if I don't make him meant that his balance is always on his forehand and needs to be more uphill and "He's going to be a second level horse soon, that's important."

More uphill than usual...
It'd be easy to cherry pick the few good moments in this lesson for the GIFs and make it look good.  We did get somewhere, and we learned a lot which is the point of the lesson.  But it wasn't great.

Ugh, the sticky canter.  Blegh. 

At the end of the lesson, after I could not get my own shoulders behind me in the canter, she had me get off the horse and do an exercise on the mounting block I saw her trainer (a GP rider based in Florida) do with his students. 

The pivot point of the block on the ground is analogous to the horse's center of gravity, and the muscles you use to move the block are the same ones you move when moving with the horse in the canter.


You can see in the video that I cannot get my hip angle open enough to do what she's asking me to do - meaning I can't do it on the horse either.  Between my tight hip flexors, a weak left quad, and trying to keep my back flat against her hand, I started shaking like a weak leaf.  Inflexibility AND weakness showing up?  Time to get back into CrossFit, I think...

14 comments:

  1. I really should put a pixio on my list of wants so I can get footage over the winter.
    I really struggle with having tight hip flexors but I'm really bad at doing something about it. Particularly just getting back into riding regularly I find they can get so tight I struggle to really sit the new guy's comfy canter. I should probably look up stretches!

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    1. The Pixio is awesome. I need to do a post on setting it up because it definitely takes 5 or 10 minutes at the beginning of a ride, but it's worth it.

      My favorite stretch for it (not that I've been doing it much lately, obviously!) is called Couch Stretch, if you want to look that up.

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  2. That is legit HARD. Constant struggle for me, so I totally feel your pain. Keep at it!

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  3. Hm... very interested in that block exercise. Also - I second the wanting of the Pixio or Soloshot. Annnnd - I feeeeel you pain on that damn sticky canter!

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    1. I'll go over it in detail sometime. Yahhhh that sticky canter. We definitely do get through it and into an amazing canter, but he has to be on my aids and in front of my leg, and he was neither that day.

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  4. Your images aren't loading for me (sob), but it actually sounds like a good lesson. You're mentally a good student and you learned and you tried hard. After all, you aren't paying the instructor to tell you that you're a good rider--you're paying them to help you take the next step to be better.

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    1. Huh, I'm interested to know why the images aren't loading for you and if that's happening to anyone else so I can fix it. I appreciate the perspective and I agree with you. I like instructors seeing us at our worst, because I know I don't have it all together. Better to take some homework away than "you guys are great!"

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    2. Now they are showing up. Let's blame my underwhelming work internet.

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  5. I enjoyed reading about your lesson. Thank you for sharing.

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  6. I want to go try that too now - I super struggle with my hips. Actually my entire leg is tight and I really have trouble stretching it downnnn. Looks like a very telling exercise.

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  7. Excited to try that exercise since you know I struggle with getting a good canter with Ffergie!

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  8. My hip flexors are SO TIGHT. Sometimes they crap when I ride even. ugh

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  9. Interesting exercise! My lower back is usually my weak point but my hips get pretty tight if I don't keep up with mobility on them!

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