June 5, 2020

Lesson Wrap-Up: Remedial Turning

Been a while since I've done a lesson recap! It's been a while since I've had a lesson at all. 10 weeks, to be exact.

My trainer 1. remembered EVERYTHING we had been working on 10 weeks ago as if it was yesterday, and 2. came out firing with some exceptionally effective exercises that immediately fixed some issues I'd been struggling with on my own.

No media since I'm not using the Pixio right now due to COVID-19, so you get gratuitous baby pony photos from the Castleberry Cobs Class of 2020.

She said the time away from Connor had been good (as in, not teaching us or riding him herself). After over 8 years (!), it had given her a chance to step back and puzzle things out on other horses that she wanted to work on with us.

I have been struggling lately with him having too much weight in the left side of his jaw when we're going to the left. He just sets his jaw against me and holds it, and if I let go, I feel like we're going to turn right.

Without me even mentioning that, she had us working on I'll call it "remedial turning" and "proper biomechanics of turning". On a 10m circle, she had me turn using a slightly open inside rein, making sure his forehead was facing her as she walked backward around the circle in front of us so that he was following his nose (did I mention this was remedial...😳), turning my torso and arms to the same degree as his turn.

It sounds basic, and it was, but I needed it in a big way. To the left in particular, she also had me briefly and slightly open the outside rein to encourage him to step into it while I also asked the inside hind to step under and forward more.

Remember I'm just over 5 feet tall, they're tiny!

While I was implementing all that, I was also carrying on my own internal biomechanics lesson, lots of it based on what I've been working on in Pilates - bearing down with abs I've never been able to fire before (really!) and keeping my weight over the right side, thinking about "standing on the ground" over the horse to stay level in the saddle. I also had much better luck turning when I thought about my hips turning slightly as well.

It worked SO well. Even though he's definitely lost some muscle, he was incredibly supple and I could really feel the motion coming through my body and not stopping at my back muscles. He let go of his jaw, and to the right really stretched into the contact. To the left he got a bit more bound up, and we worked through it to improve it, although it never really got as good as the right.

I wasn't grinning the whole ride like I was with Cadence, this one was hard work, but I was grinning by the end! If that's a starting point for the summer, I'll take it.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes we do need to go back to basics just to tweak some things. Sounds like a great lesson!