Monday, February 18, 2008

Bar and Jess get a lesson

Bar and I had a lesson yesterday that consisted of a lot of walking and a lot of Peter telling me to get my rear end in the center of the saddle.

All of what we were working on, I had worked on with Peter and Lena before, but am having to learn it all over again with Bar.

Some of that is because what we were working on - balance, position, seat - are things I'm supposed to be working on all the time, but have gotten pushed out of my brain by other things, other worries, other distractions.

The lesson helped me remember that without the fundamental piece of getting and keeping my seat and staying relaxed enough to do that, progress with Bar (or Lena for that matter) will be limited.

So, yes, we walked around the arena for an hour. I was concentrating on coordinating several things - getting my hips to be supple, but not relaxed; keeping my shoulders still and my hands relaxed; not bracing in the stirrups; and probably some more things I can't recite at the moment. It's a lot to keep running through my head while perched on the top of a dancing horse, but it also works when I can get it all together.

Steve says I have reverted to riding like I did when I was more afraid, which makes sense, but won't work. I've lost some confidence because of the falls, and while I know this and have that awareness, I am still working through it. The lesson helped, actually, because it pointed out how much my fearful reactions feed into Bar's behavior. He would start to act up for whatever reason - Lena walking by, the noise from the outdoor arena, whatever - and even while I was circling him and pre-empting his blow-up, I was tensing up in preparation of his blow-up and actually feeding into it.

Bah. Horses are hard. But so, so worth it.

1 comment:

RunAwayPony said...

Peter has been telling me the same things (get your butt tucked, heels down, sit back... the list goes on) for as long as I've been riding with him. And that's pushing 8 years now. We keep telling him to just record his voice so we can loop what he tells us and play it on our ipods when warming up at shows. lol. But it seems to help!
Bar looked much more relaxed from what I saw, and so did you. Keep up the hard work. It all pays off eventually!
And I have to say, after I fell and had to get stitches I was afraid for a while. I've fallen enough times to know that it happens, but it still always shakes you up. That fall had me shaken up for quite a while. But I learned a lot from the experience too, so it wasn't all bad. Just remember, getting back on is the biggest and hardest step. If you can do that, you can do anything.