Moving Forward

I've had a lot of time to reflect on why I've felt so bad about riding lately.  And a lot of time to think about the tough love NK gave me last week.  And I feel like I've exhaled for the first time in months.


Like this exhale at the end of my ride
My ride last night made it abundantly clear that everyone is right.  My regular trainer is right, NK is right.  The way I sit - and the extent to which I resist or do not resist his attempts to pull me forward - can make or break the effectiveness of the rest of my aids, which I think is part of the reason I've felt like nothing is working lately.  I'M letting things go that I can't, and no one can do that for me.

Thanks to the Pixio for helping me realize my reins were too long for this ride, but still eye opening to see half halts that don't involve pulling.
The way I sit is the difference between needing a lot of leg and a couple of light bumps to achieve the same thing.  It's the difference between bracing against him and not.  It's not the only thing that's wrong by a long shot - I need to stop letting him run through my right side in both directions (both trainers identified that!), rein length is an on-going battle - but now that my eyes have been opened to that feeling, I can't ignore it.

Turn on the forehand.  Promise I wasn't pulling!

That ride last night felt incredible to me, which is why going back and watching the Pixio footage later was so valuable.  It didn't look nearly as good as it felt, and I could immediately see some things I wish I'd done differently - which I can now put into practice.


So I guess in conclusion, I'm not taking up Professional Trail Riding (TM).  I have a lot of good people in my corner - you guys, both of my trainers - a horse that greets me with a nicker each day, and a desire to keep learning even if the path to progress drives me absolutely insane sometimes.

Thanks for all the love - have a "Connor spooking at absolutely nothing to get out of doing work" GIF to brighten your Tuesdays:

Yeah there was actually absolutely nothing there.  I checked.

20 comments:

  1. saddle pads are known to eat certain flaxen maned Connors :) HA Remus does the same damn thing. Glad you realize that things are good with the help from your friends..he is the cutest in my book :)

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    1. Awww thanks. Yes, I don't know how they're all communicating but they all seem to understand that saddle pads over fences definitely eat horses.

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  2. Video is such a helpful tool! I did lol @ the gif. XD

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    1. Haha, glad it could make you laugh!

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  3. Oh I am so there with you... It's hard to not get down on myself, even when things are moving forward. Riding is basically constantly learning all the things you didn't know that you didn't know. hahaha. Glad you have a great team in your corner.

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    1. Misery loves company :) It's a fun journey overall, but parts of it do get tough. It's good to have a good team here and good blogger friends to commiserate with.

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  4. Ha! I think your horse and mine share a brain. Mine also will randomly spook when he wants to get out of working... I had a trainer call him on it Friday night and amazingly, even though he was exhausted he was able to get back to work and miraculously stop spooking at ghosts...

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    1. That's funny! Yeah, sometimes things genuinely startle him but other times I can tell he's looking for something to spook at. This was one of the other times.

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  5. The path definitely looks a lot clearer!

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    1. Yeah, and it feels good to see it getting clearer too. This has been a long sad summer.

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  6. That saddle pad DEFINITELY wasn't there the other 92 times you went past it.

    Hang in there. This shit is hard, and there is ALWAYS something that needs to be better. Keep picking away at it!

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    1. RIGHT? This was literally 12 minutes into our ride.

      Thanks :)

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    2. I'm with Jen; that saddle pad definitely just showed up.

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  7. Yeah, but if there had been something there he’d have saved your life! Thanks for sharing your wisdom and honesty!

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    1. I mean, it's funny but you're also true. It's kinda like how he was on XC, he was always going to keep both of us safe at all costs, even if it made things heart-racingly interesting.

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  8. LOL the spooking.There was nothing there. What a turd.

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    1. Right?! Nothing, not even a cat, I checked.

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  9. Well - something could have been lurking around that corner lol. Way to change the subject Conner!

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    1. Yeah, and right when I really had his number too. Hmmmph.

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  10. Wooo! So excited for your breakthrough <3

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