Thursday, 18 December 2014

Wednesday Lesson Recap

I rode a horse named Slater for my Wednesday lesson.  He`s not as tall as Apollo but he`s quite a stocky guy so my saddle actually fits him and my bridle does too (with a bit of adjustment).  I`m a little sore this today - but not as bad as I expected! 

Slater was kind of a funny ride.  His walk and trot were so slow and I had a hard time keeping him moving forward.  But then when the lesson was about 75% done he woke up and it was challenging to slow him down!  He is a very sweet boy and was quite patient as I muddled around up there. 

Here are some of my bad habits that I need to work on:

1) At the canter transition I lean back in a strange and exaggerated way.  I don`t know why.  I actually don`t feel like I`m doing it so I`ve had to think about tilting forward (even though I`m not tilting forward, I`m just straight.)

2) I keep throwing my outside rein away.  I think this is due to some crookedness on my part but it was VERY hard for me to correct.

3) My hands aren`t always closed on the reins.  This is so bush league!  This has been an issue for me since I started riding.  I feel like I start the lesson with normal person hands but as I start focusing on other things they slowly open.

One exercise we worked on quite a bit was doing a 10 meter circle and leg yielding out to a larger circle.  I had a really had time with this.  I started in the walk but did most of it in the trot.  It was pretty challenging (especially with my rein-related issues listed above) to move Slater out in a proper leg yield rather than drifting out and leading with his shoulder.  This kind of mirrors what I worked on in my dressage lesson last Friday.  I also did quite a lot of transitions.

I don`t know if I`m the only person who struggles with this but I cannot brain very well when I`m riding.  I get frazzled and confused really easy.  I don`t feel like I am like this when I am not on a horse but man....I feel like such a dolt when I`m riding.  My instructor had to explain the circle exercise like 4 times before I understood it. 

I got a lot of video but the videos are all over 2 mins.  I was able to get a video still using a screenshot but it`s quite blurry.  I`m going to fiddle with the videos and try to edit them down a bit.

Here`s Mr. Slater

My solitary screenshot:


  1. Sounds like we have almost exactly the same issues!

  2. the outside rein one is a toughie.

  3. I can't hold onto my reins if my life depended on it. We can be bush league together!

  4. Mr. Slater looks like a sweet guy. Lessons can be intimidating sometimes and it's hard to focus on what the trainer is saying. One of the problems I had when taking lessons had to do with thinking of all the other things I had to do that day and really not paying attention to what I was doing. I find now that if you go into the ring and clear your mind things work out better. You might be thinking about your reins, position etc. so you need to let all that go and let the trainer remind you of things as you ride. Mentioning these quirks to her in the beginning of your lesson and asking her to correct you might take your mind off of everything but what you need to do to get the gait or circle or whatever you are working on. Hope this made some sense.

  5. I struggle with the open fingers thing too and have a terrible habit of using them in a bid to soften the rein rather than give up the T Rex/elbows glued to sides thing I seem to be so fond of.
    I'm sure I heard somewhere that there's an actual scientific reason why it's hard to learn and ride at the same time, and fairly normal for an instructor to have to repeat themselves multiple times before the rider really comprehends, something to do with how our brain works. Wish I could remember more but I'm pretty sure I heard it in a riding lesson so retention of actual details = minimal at best lol

  6. aw Slater's a cutie!! and yea - #s 2&3 are definitely problem areas for me too... and the whole 'using my brain' thing... sheesh - it's so much to think about!!! sounds like a productive lesson all the same :)

  7. I suffer from "cannot brain very well when I`m riding" syndrome too ... now I have a name for that, thanks! hehe But seriously, I don't think you and I are in the same league when it comes to riding; you don't sound very bush league to me whereas I am firmly planted there, both feet hehe