Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Back to Basics

*stolen from Dragons' blog*

Yeah so most amazing lesson ever today. For the rider that is, not the horse. Reminded me of my first lesson ever w/ Marg :) hahaha I was pretty impressed by that one too. So first of all, I was thrilled to discover Sienna was sound when I got there today. Stunned (my backup plan was to borrow a student's horse, and I def had her groomed and ready to go too in case I had to make a quick change! Just as well I didn't though cause she had an amazing lightbulb ride herself! Woohoo!) Anyways back to my story. She can write her own >;-P C lunged sound so I got on, fully expecting to feel what I couldn't see... But no -- she felt sound. Which of course left me doubting my judgement -- but honestly I'm usually pretty good at feeling that and tend to be far more likely to deem a sound horse unsound than the reverse. So I trusted myself and kept riding and when my coach got there the first thing I said was something about "question of the day -- is she sound?" I *might've* said hi first, but hey - he's a horse person, he gets it. Says yes she looks sound, why does she feel off? Nope -- feels fine, I just expected her to be off cause she got kicked on Tues and has been off since. hahaha

So decision is promptly made that lesson will focus on the rider rather than the horse. Last lesson also at least involved the rider (as in he told me when I was doing something dumb and I tried to fix it) but significantly more horse (things like rhythm, balance, bend etc... All those fun details :). This lesson -- well let's put it this way: I rode for an hour and we never made it past the trot. hahahaha We *did* jump -- but even that was in the trot!

We start at the halt where my position got thoroughly shredded and very carefully put back together. N of course I just laugh when I hear "well this is very good but . . . " cause of course that's my standard line :) Eventually after much stretching and repositioning we graduated to the walk (C was loving this lesson "so, I just hang out here and you guys chat huh? Ok..." Just like w/ Zel -- amazingly well behaved when they realize being quiet means not being asked to work. Like a child who doesn't want their parent to realize they're up past their bedtime!) Gotta admit though -- the walk we got was brilliant. Eventually graduated to the trot. Wasn't pretty -- but def fell under the whole 'break a few eggs to make a cake' analogy cause I could feel the difference! N when it clicked, even for a second, it was pretty amazing. Seriously though -- trying to do dressage in XC saddle -- way less than good! However -- he managed to fix leg, shoulder, elbow, pelvis position all in one go. (yeah when I said take it all apart and put it back together again, I meant *all* :) Was the first time in a looonnnggg time that my little brain was absolutely spinning trying to remember everything I was supposed to be doing at once!

The other thing I really liked is that even w/o the crazy positional corrections he asks questions that actually make me think. Where being able to rhyme off the standard text-book answer isn't going to cut it. And that, as much as anything, will help improve both my riding and my teaching. And I'm pretty excited about that :)

When it came to jumping we were just doing a single fence w/ placing poles on takeoff and landing. Focus on "let baby figure it out" and "fix rider's position" -- to the millimeter. It was amazing. HUGE difference. Now I just need that every day for the next 6 mths and I'll be set >;-P hahaha ah well have to settle for the once/wk and "coach yourself" versions. Did get invited to crash the XC school next week so definitely booked that off work *g* hahaha priorities eh? Fingers crossed the weather holds!

Ok enough of that -- off to teach now :)


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