I had a lesson today. Over the winter, I have taken to riding in the afternoon so that my son and my trainer/barn owner’s daughter can play together for a few hours, but now that summer is here I am riding in the mornings. There are two reasons for that: the first being that we live in Florida so it’s HOT and that means it’s hotter in the afternoon than in the morning; and the second reason being that in the summer here, it rains most afternoons, so if I want to stay dry and not ride in a mud pit, I have to ride earlier in the day. Well, today, it simply rained on and off all day. The arena still looked good though and when I arrived at the barn, there was a break in the rain.
I was early to my lesson today, so while my trainer worked with another student, I got Sox all ready. He is shedding like no one’s business and when I went to rub his forehead he started rubbing against my hand, so I just held it still and he moved his head all over the place on my hand and little hairs just went flying everywhere. So, I curried him really good before getting him tacked up and then we headed out to the arena. I decided to get warmed up on my own since I didn’t know when the rain would return. I actually was able to get Sox to pick up a nice forward trot pretty quickly, which felt good. Until I found out he hadn’t been ridden all week so he was just probably feeling a little extra peppy because of that. Oh well, still felt nice. I decided to drop my stirrups and work on my sitting trot while I waited for my lesson. I even posted a bit sans stirrups (damn that’s hard – my thighs will certainly get into shape if I keep that kind of work up this summer). I practiced keeping Sox on the rail and not letting him cut the corners and then worked on some trot-walk-trot transitions and some walk-halt transitions.
My trainer decided it was time for me to practice on the lunge line today, which is cool because I was just thinking that it had been some time since I had been on the lunge line and that it probably wouldn’t hurt to do that soon. So I did lots more posting the trot and sitting the trot, and doing 2-point in the trot. I am really working on getting my lower leg to be still and to actually feel the horse with my calf. I have gotten to the point where I can feel the difference between right and wrong approximately half of the time. Developing the feel of what’s right is a goal of mine at the moment. And it can be frustrating when I can feel that I am not quite right, but no matter what I do, I just can’t fix it! I know it comes with time, and I will get there. 🙂
We also worked on my posture. I am much much better than I used to be, but I still have a long way to go on this. Overall, I tend to tense up or lock up my joints so that I can’t move with the horse. This usually means that I will start out sitting nice and tall, but because I am either locking my knee or my hips, I end up rocking in my seat and usually leaning forward. I know why Sox is used for the kids, I watched him with my son (when my son was still riding) and if you get off balance on him, particularly on the line, he will stop. So this means that every time I pitched forward today, even a little, Sox would stop, or try to stop. So it was a very good indicator when I wasn’t sitting tall.
It started raining half way through our lesson, but we kept on for a bit longer in the rain since it wasn’t pouring or lightning out. Sox wasn’t too pleased with us for that, but we all lived through it. I cannot wait to be riding more frequently. It’s been two weeks since my last lesson and whenever I have that long between lessons I always feel like I have forgotten how to do everything in between, although today wasn’t as bad as usual. But when I can ride a few times a week, I know I will be able to actually practice the things I do with my trainer and make some progress. The owner of Sox is actually pretty busy coming up here, so pretty much for the first half of the summer, I can ride Sox whenever I want since she won’t be, but I am working out scheduling with my trainer and one of my friends so that I am not out there riding alone. My friend has been my trainer in the past as well, and teaches some other students at the same barn and is BFF”s with the barn owner/my trainer, so I am feeling pretty good about going on there “on my own”. .
We ended our lesson a little early, but it was starting to rain a bit harder and we were pretty soaked. I got Sox all cleaned up and fed him a couple carrots. I let my trainer know that I was interested in not just being that student who comes out, rides the horse and then leaves. I want to learn about more than just how to sit on top of the horse without falling off – I want to learn about the horse itself, his care, and all that. Which I told her translates to mean that she has some willing hands for helping this summer. As long as she tells me about what we are doing and teaches me along the way. To which she agreed, of course.
Next week I have a lesson on friday, and then a couple of commitments for work the following week, but then my lease begins!! 🙂 Yay!! I almost forgot to write this today…hopefully I get better at summing up my lessons more and don’t stay so long-winded. Either way, it was a good day and I am exhausted!!