May 20, 2016

"Make your lower back really wide."

Hello, I'm back from dropping off the face of the earth, and I have so much to catch you all up on!

Let's go back to a week ago Thursday.  I was having my last lesson before the schooling Dressage show, and my previous ride on Tuesday had been awful.  I couldn't even get him to go straight down the centerline.
Riding at the show grounds Friday night in my work shirt and a regular bra because I failed at packing that morning.  Womp womp.

When I said that to my trainer, she had me start at the walk going down the centerline, first in shoulder fore in the direction we came off the rail in, then switching to the other direction at X.  Once we had that, we started doing it at the trot.  But the most useful thing she gave me was a cue during this exercise to get me to sit deeper and quieter in the saddle:

"Make your lower back really wide."

This made me sit and relax my lower back both.  I imagined that my lower back was a wide rectangle, wider than Connor's back.

All photo credits go to FBR, who came with me to this show and stayed the night with me.  She took this from the judge's booth.

More than anything, when I was on my own at the show, that cue helped me when I was at the crossroads of using my seat to escalate a spicy situation, or to encourage him to keep a lid on things.

At the show grounds Friday night, I had an unimpressive but quiet ride in the show ring we'd be riding in the next day (dude, Dressage is awesome!  Got our flower spooking out of the way the night before).  Unlike at Majestic, Connor was like, "Ah yes, the Hoosier Horse Park, I must be here to show, ho hum," and gave just one whinny in response to someone else's whinny.  All things considered, I'll take mediocre over crazy for a pre-show prep ride.

Finally growing up?  Maybe?

We put the little guy to bed and went home for my husband's tacos.  With 11:41 and 1pm ride times the next day, there was time to stay up and talk at the dining room table for a few hours.  As I was drifting off to sleep, I heard my husband and roommate talking about FBR from downstairs: "It's nice to hang out with a high schooler that makes you feel like humanity is headed in the right direction. "Yeah, she really has it together."   That's my girl!


  1. That does sound like a great image to remember!

  2. Great visual! I'm going to try this with Katai.

  3. i just love that feeling of a horse settling right in at a show - how reassuring! can't wait to read about how it all went!

  4. Sounds like a great evening!

  5. That is a neat visual, I know I sometimes try to imagine my butt is full of rocks to keep it in the saddle!