December 15, 2020

Lesson Wrap-Up: *brain explodes*

My lessons with CGP are starting to get more technical. And by that I mean we've advanced from  "you don't know how to post" to things like "you don't know how to pick up the reins correctly" and "you don't know how to ride a 3 loop serpentine" and "you don't know how to turn"!

Pivo only got part of this ride because I kept riding too close to the tripod on the rail. I knew I was doing that, but when GP trainer is yelling "KEEP THAT HIND FOOT ON THE RAIL IN SI!" you can't yell back "BUT MAH BLOG MEDIA!!!!!"

To be honest if I sound annoyed about all that, I really am not. I'm delighted that now that the horse and I are both reasonably functional, she's not letting anything slide anymore. That she'll take five minutes out of my lesson to nail me on the tentative and slow way I pick up the reins because "this is going to be the difference between a 6 and and 8 coming out of the free walk".

We moved onto "ride a three loop serpentine at the trot", which you know, no one has ever stopped to really teach me the ABCs of that movement, and I certainly do not get a chance to school it in a regulation ring very often (ever). 

I did it very wrong the first time, and then she stopped me and said, "Okay, do you learn better by seeing it or by math?" When I said seeing it, she got up from her chair and walked a three loop serpentine in front of us, which thank goodness, I have the worst spatial reasoning skills in the world, and that was the only way I was going to learn it. Even still, I struggled a bit.

When I finally was riding the figure correctly, she started getting onto me about not having enough control of his shoulders to make the turn at the right place. At that point, because a 3 loop serpentine is a bunch of half 20m circles, she put me on a 20m circle and asked for extreme accuracy, one stride of the horse at each point on the rail, and I couldn't do it.

To break the concept down for me, she busted out some cones and put them so close to the rail at each "point" of the circle, I thought I couldn't possibly fit a pony through the gap, and she told me to ride a diamond shape. Two things quickly became clear: I wasn't turning early enough (I really had to start the turn maybe a half meter before the cone), and I didn't have any control of the outside (right) shoulder. Hello weak right glute med.

Given the asymmetries I know I have, I assumed going to the right would be easier, I have control of the left shoulder, right? In THIS direction, I got nailed for also letting him escape through the same right side, now the inside, which is very obvious in this GIF:

Pivo didn't get any of the diamond exercise at the far end, but you can see him leaning into my non-existent right thigh here.

He's leaning into the right in every direction because my right thigh is almost never touching the horse, let alone actively asking for anything. Complicating things in both directions, my left leg still likes to get too far back, so especially to the left, I'm left with a horse that doesn't have an inside leg to bend around, and no outside thigh to turn.

GP trainer in a 100% teal outfit on Sunday, she has Leah's best interests at heart, lol

She told me explicitly to explore those two things on Aeres this week, and wow, what a difference they made! It was exhausting to use my leg in that way, especially at the posting trot where my right glute med in particular was in actual PAIN, but my position was so much more stable, especially my lower right leg, and I didn't have the straightness challenges I've had with her in the past.

I quit around 25 minutes into that ride after getting my first walk-canters out of her in both directions! I didn't want to fall back into my old open right thigh habits because my newly discovered muscles got too tired (and that definitely happened quickly).

Aeres and Meatloaf's album cover

Having Aeres at home has definitely made Connor's full training much more valuable to me, since I can come home and practice like this.


  1. I love how you guys look here. I also really enjoy a good nitty gritty lesson.

  2. Haha one of the reasons I don't ask my trainer to ride my horse more often is I don't want him to get too used to correct riding and totally ignore me when he realizes how poor I am in comparison X)
    What was wrong with how you rode the serpentine originally?