Thursday, September 29, 2016

On Learning

Part the First

Following the Tik Maynard clinic, I've been doing groundwork with Courage a couple times a week. It's nothing earth shattering. The first few days he was rock solid, then we tried it on a cool, windy, definitely-fall sort of day and he was HYPER reactive and just sort of edgy.
obv need  polos for groundwork
It was really interesting--he presented a lot of the same issues I see under saddle, complete with flailing, leaping, and checking out. We took lots of breaks. He gave lots of releases. By the time I was ready to hop on, I had a calm, focused horse and a very excellent ride.

Part the Second

I'm taking a pilates class. It's all about controlled movement and engaged core muscles. We've started doing some harder exercises lately, which is interesting. In the last session, the teacher asked me to hold my balance with my core and move one limb without shifting weight/balance to compensate for it. I understood what she said and I watched other students do it fairly easily.

And I couldn't.

Could.

Not.
judgmental corgi not impressed
The teacher came over to help me with it and even showed me which muscles needed to contract to make the move happen, and academically, I knew what she was saying. I just. Lacked the capacity to make my body do that thing on that day. We finally settled for me doing a lesser version of the exercise with the idea that I'll practice a lot at home.

Huh.

I love when things are connected, so it was really fantastic to experience that. (Still haven't mastered it. Give me time).
half foamy. i'll take it.
Sure was nice that the teacher was kind, understanding, and clear in her instructions. It would have sucked if she got mad and tried to punish me for trying, huh?

Learning is a fascinating thing.

18 comments:

  1. I think you just hit 12 nails on the head simultaneously.

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  2. Good insights about learning. I started pilates last year and I love how well it works as cross training with riding. That exercise you mentioned sounds like a great way to develop independent aids for in the saddle ;)

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  3. Yep. Nailed it. That is all I have to say.

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  4. What a perfect analogy. Pilates is awesome. I commend you for workin' it, girl.

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  5. Pilates is hard, yo. Props to you

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  6. Very true! Have you found that doing pilates translates to any changes in the saddle? I am a bit crooked, I think it might help me...but finding the extra/time money would be a challenge.

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    1. I bought a couple of yoga/pilates DVDs and did them for a couple of months straight last year, and I found it made a HUGE difference in my straightness and balance in and out of the saddle. It really evened me out!

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    2. I have terrible body awareness and am massively crooked, so if it helps at all, then it's waaaaaay better than it could have been. Time+money is always a challenge, so I was really excited to have this opportunity.

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  7. There's a lot of truth here- and it makes you a good horseperson to recognize the challenges in yourself that you see in your horse.

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  8. Good for you for working on yourself! Good luck with the pilates!

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  9. Love these observations. good for you.

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  10. Funny how that works, ain't it? Here's three cheers for the long game!

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  11. I took a pilates class recently that was put on by a dressage instructor and one of her students who teaches pilates. We worked specifically on all this core stuff and DAMN it made a difference for me!

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    1. Even just the awareness is huge--I'm a pretty strong person, but I like to over-rely on my large muscle groups to the detriment of the interior ones that are actually super important. Huh.

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  12. Huh. What a crazy random happenstance.

    Also, thank you for giving me the kick in the pants I needed to get some pilates DVDs. (Heck no, I will not humiliate myself in front of actual adults. My kids' attempts to not laugh are bad enough as it is!) I've been thinking I needed to do something of that nature, but doesn't have the motivation to follow through. Eh.... actually, maybe I'll wait until your glowing report of how much it's improving your riding skills. Lol

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    1. See and I lack the discipline to do it on my own unless I have a class of adults I need to practice for.

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  13. If I could somehow figure out how to add pilates into my life... I'm with you, doing stuff on my own doesn't end up happening. Corgi is cute as always!

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  14. I'm about to embark on a ground training adventure with Jack. It should be..... interesting.

    Pilates and yoga are excellent ways to get fit for riding. The concentration on breathing and muscle awareness do wonders for your position.

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