2016 rang in with a bang for us! We ended 2015 and started 2016 at the wedding of two of our close friends. We drove home after the wedding and I got in my first ride of the new year. Annie was a rockstar considering she hadn’t been ridden almost all of December.
This weekend I hauled Annie over to NT’s farm for a weekend full of lessons and I am so happy that I did. Saturday I rode one of his sale horses who is amazing and then NT also rode Annie. I love getting to see her go. Sunday was the day of more lessons and I jumped the green bean myself (evidence above)! She is super duper wiggly but it was really helpful for me to get to get help from NT with her. The primary focus of my lesson was for me to accept that the more relaxed I am the more relaxed she will be. It is hard to remember that even though my instinct is to get stiff and rigid when she gets fiery that is the last thing that I should be doing. Another thing that I was happy to work on was keeping my hands low and soft instead of floating them up over fences. I got into the bad habit of doing that the past few years and I really need to break it. A bulleted breakdown of my lessons will be below!
Before I rode Annie Sunday I had another lesson on the fancy sale horse and had so much fun! He is a dream boat to ride and I am excited for more lessons. I might even get to show him in the near future but that is still up in the air.
Main points of all lessons were:
- Use outside aids to ride through turns
- Use seat and leg for lead changes not hands – know this I am just weak
- Try to sit more neutrally at the canter (not such a pushing seat)
- Push hands onto neck over fences to have a following hand instead of lifting and throwing them (and my body) forward
- Learn how to count again (landing stride doesn’t get counted – brain fart)
- Ride with hands higher on the flat
- Keep a closed hip angle but shoulders up and back
- Keep a consistent feel of Annie to give her something to reach into – consistent leg use as well
- Use decisive half halts and sink into my seat for downward transitions on Annie
- Use large and small circles to control the inside bend and get horse off forehand and hind end engaged
- Post the canter to really get a feel for how my position is affecting my ride – very difficult (and awk)
- BREATHE over fences… I tend to ramp up as I go through the course which is bad
Posts to come include: 2016 goals, a Saddle Lockers review, and a weigh in for #goalbreeches!