Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ho Boy We Take a Lesson

Awkward and teeny, but look at my hands!!
I find that the best recipe for getting myself out of a riding funk is to take a solid lesson and learn some new skills or dust off old ones. We got on S's schedule for this past weekend and then I promptly got redheadlins and Alyssa talked in to coming out to take video and pictures respectively.

Oh wow. What to say?

The thing I love about S is her ability to really meet me where I'm at in terms of training and confidence and then push me within that level so I come out of a lesson feeling more confident in my horse and my skills and our ability to do things together.

She's also really technical, which helps my overachieving brain fixate on something useful instead of just random anxiety. The theme for the day was to put my hands together and just ride forward from my leg.

Possessed right hand in check
On the circle of death!

Omg! I maybe should add that I'm one of those twisted weirdos who thinks the circle of death is a super fun exercise and I sort of love it.

We started the exercise by using simple lines and leaving fences out to let Courage and I get combobulated. By the end of the lesson, we were able to do the full circle both directions and I EVEN HAVE VIDEO!!!

Barrel issues: mastered!
I usually hate video, particularly of myself, but I'm actually pretty proud of this one. I mean, I know I have tons to work on and I'm hardly perfect, but I'm riding forward and making good decisions and my position is alright and it's all perfectly appropriate for the level we're at.

Throughout the whole exercise, I just felt so solid. I was comfortable in the tack and on my horse and I was being asked questions that I was able to answer. The great thing about having the jumps on a circle like that is they just keep coming up and you have to ignore mistake and keep riding forward.

So focused
It reminds you to stay in the middle and keep your leg on. It also lets you just jump in balance out of stride, over and over and over, until the feel of it just sinks into your brain.

I've done this all before, really I have. Courage and I are just starting to change of that "green horse" ride, where you do whatever needs to be done at the moment to more of a "broke horse" ride, where the horse has a grasp of what is supposed to happen and becomes more responsible for himself.

Just loping over the wee thing
It's all good things and I'm happy and excited. In fact, I almost didn't know what to do with a lesson where I didn't have to ride through mind-altering fear. Seriously. These jumps all looked safe and tiny to me (which they are), and that's ok.

I may not have all the answers, but even I can see that Courage and I are improving together and having fun. There's nothing like progress to shake off that nasty funk. :-)


  1. Sounds like you had fun! Looking good. I enjoy circle of death too...

  2. awesome lesson - you guys look great on that circle! i love your patience to some of those fences when the distance wasn't quite spot on - and then how Courage rewarded that patience (and your soft hands) with moving up on the next try. very well done! (definitely stealing this for my own practice) :)

  3. You and I are both twisted weirdos, because I too enjoy the Circle of Death exercise :)

    I actually like having video taken of me, not because I'm conceited and like to watch myself, but more as a way to watch my riding and position in real-time as it relates to the horse. I've always been a visual person, and to see the mistakes (or improvements, occasionally) really helps me for future lessons.

    PS, you and C-Rage are BAMFs!

  4. Yay! Great lesson!

  5. Yay for good lessons. Someone to focus in on what you need to focus on and make you do it, is why training is so great. I love the circle of death, its normally a winter game for us, sad I will miss it this year with my girl, willing to bet it would drive her nuts as ours is usually in the tight indoor ;) Courage looked great!

  6. Love your hands and how chill you are through the whole thing. Courage is definitely starting to figure it all out! :)

  7. Looking good! That's one of my favorite exercises.

  8. Glad you got a tune up lesson! You guys look really good.

  9. He LOVES how you are riding him there. Y'all both look so chill... glad that S is helping you so much. It really shows!

  10. Woohoo! YES! A lesson is such a great tool to get out of a funk, because it makes you feel more empowered. I was counting strides that whole video as if I was doing the exercise, LOL (for rhythm, not for the strides' sake). You both look super happy and forward - great job! And bonus points for video and photos!!

  11. Sounds fab, I hope I can get back to lessons sooner rather than later ☺

  12. Courage says 'meh, circle of death, like no big' 'I have so got this'!!

  13. Funk be gone! You guys rocked it!

  14. So jealous of your lesson! I also miss having a horse where circle of death was enjoyable... Freight train Thoroughbred means it's just... not an option.

  15. you two are so freaking adorable! much improvement :)

  16. Awesome. I know you don't like videos, but I enjoy them! It's great to see you guys coming along.

  17. Oh my gosh! Your hands looked fabulous through the whole circle of death ride! So soft, yet super forward! Well done :)

  18. your position looks rock solid!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...