September 30, 2016

Lesson Wrap-Up: Hoping it Sticks

My trainer woke me up with a text at 7:25 yesterday morning.  I automatically assumed my horse was injured/dead/colicking, because that's what you do when you wake up to a text from your trainer!  But he was fine, she just wanted to tell me that she wanted to get on him first in my lesson that night.

The sky as my lesson was beginning.  My days of outdoor lessons are so numbered.

She had put a trainer ride on him the day before in the kimberwicke, which she says she "loves" him in.  She told me from the moment that she got on him, he not want to walk straight between her aids, so she made especially sure to sit straight, not get tipped, and encourage him to stay within the boundaries.
Sniffle.  I am not L. Williams and I hate the dark, and moving from this big gorgeous ring to the indoor.  #firstworldproblems

She also said that his biggest straightness problem right now, (swinging the hindquarters to the outside and the right shoulder to the inside while on the right rein) is fixed by asking for more bend with a lot of inside thigh and knee and asking the right hind to step forward instead of to the right, and also not blocking him on the right with a closed hip.

Have I mentioned how unafraid I am of putting bad riding photos out there?  Haha.  Oh boy.
PC: My mom

When I got on after her, I could feel how straight he was, and shortly I felt him devolve into less straight.  Using my right thigh like she did helped a ton, but when we asked for the counterbent left circle, he acted like he couldn't get off his right side.

"Something is going on here that I can't see that is making him want to stay over to the right with you," she mused, "Wait, there you go!  He's doing it right now, what changed?"

"I shifted my weight to the left seatbone," I said.  He almost immediately gave me what I was asking for.

"Okay, that makes sense..."
Uh, like, Exhibit A for everything that is wrong with us right now, in my humble and uneducated opinion.
PC: My mom

The consensus right now is that my weight was on the right, so his weight was on the right, when I was asking him to move it left but not really letting him.  I also started using quicker rein aids, which helped control the shoulder.

Basically from that moment he began standing up underneath me and giving me the ride I hope to get on Saturday.  She said right now, the counterbent left circle is like my litmus test: if he can do it, he's straight or on the way to becoming straight.  If he can't, something is wrong.  And that something is likely my position.
PC: my mom

I was especially grateful for that lesson, because my trainer was next on the waitlist for an area rated event, her first time competing in years, and she removed herself from the waitlist partially so that we could have this lesson before championships on Saturday.  She's still going to coach at the event, but not ride.  I felt equal parts bad and grateful when she said that, and am more determined than ever to retain the lesson I just had long enough to have a good warmup on Saturday!


  1. Good luck tomorrow!

    Also, my trainer likes to call me late at night just to chat and I ALWAYS freak out!!! Like, start with "nothing is wrong" and then carry on! OMG instant heart attack

  2. Good luck!! You guys are going to knock it out of the park 😀

  3. You and Connor will rock that First Level Championship class!!!

  4. Your trainer is such a great fit for you. :-)

    1. She is pretty great. Still kind of amazing that we are only a year apart in age.

  5. What a great lesson- just when you need it! I'm like you and hate it when it starts to get dark early.

  6. Good luck and have a great time. You guys are SO ready!

  7. What an awesome trainer! Love those a-ha moment lessons :)

  8. Such a great trainer and yeah, I also love those moments. Have such a great ride! You guys will do great :-)