One Step Forward- What I accomplished today - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-12-2014, 06:56 AM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
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Talking One Step Forward- What I accomplished today

Today was a good day.
Ever since I started riding i have always felt like the beginner among the advanced. I always watched girls younger than me do such amazing things, things i could only dream of doing. Last year I moved riding schools. My old one was good, but it was more based for younger kids. Dont get me wrong, i loved it there, but I really wasnt going anywhere. After a year I couldnt do a sitting trot, my canter was awful and I just really hadnt improved much. This year, I felt the improvements from day 1. I always doubt myself, I put myself down more than I think about the good things.

Today was different.

It started like any other lesson. Myself and two other girls got on our horses, walked, trotted, did a few poles, and discussed some theory stuff. Well, for a while now ive been asking my instructor for a stirrupless lesson, and today, i got one. She said we were all capable enough of doing this (previously we had a few less experienced girls with us). Personally, I was expecting to find it extremely hard to go without stirrups. But after a few minutes I found my seat and got quite comfortable. We did try a little rising trot, haha well, that was, errm, painful. So we slowed to a walk and we only had about 10 minutes left in our lesson, so that must mean it was time to canter.

My instructor asked everyone to get their stirrups back, except me.. I knew exactly what was going on. I know the other two horses are quite tough to get into a canter, so the girls need stirrups. but my horse on the other hand, is easy to canter. So of course, my instructor proposed the idea of a stirrupless canter.

Yes i was nervous, but if she thought i could, well, why not? I set myself up for a bouncy transition and hard to balance canter. I remember a while ago i lost my stirrups at a canter and struggled. So, i got myself into a good trot, and then into a canter. Then it hit me, this wasnt so hard! I set myself up for this massive challenge, when in fact, cantering stirrupless almost seemed easier than with stirrups. As i did it more and more I found it easier and easier. And you know what, I left there in the best mood ive been in a long time

Now i feel like ive really gotten somewhere. Like all this hard work is paying off. A year ago I couldnt even sit a trot, now im here, cantering with no stirrups. Ive taken a big step forward, Ive accomplished something amazing and I feel great!
tinyliny, mcfarawayland and bkylem like this.

If I am not riding I'm thinking about horses, and if I am not thinking about horses I'm riding
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-12-2014, 02:23 PM
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go you!!!

Every time i have a good lesson i have to literally hold myself back from going on here or facebook and just writing "I RODE A HORSE TODAY. IT WAS AMAZING." That feeling of accomplishment even regarding little things is overwhelming, never mind when you actually do something new/different.

I have to agree with you that in some ways - stirrup-less is easier. You feel much more how your 'balance' comes in to play and you are 100% without a doubt one with the horse.. so says gravity. Although that initial feeling of "I love how free my ankles and feet are" tends to get overwhelmed at some point with an "ooh... hi muscles I never knew i had..." feeling. It creeps in the longer you stay at it.

If you think posting is hard when stirrupless, try TWO POINTING. My trainers have told me to do this in the past, and i secretly think it's a cruel joke on me .. like I never really get "up out of the saddle" but just trying to get there kills my legs SOOO much... I mean, this can't be physically possible can it?? I guess it can.... I mean, they ask me to do it with a straight face.. but the strength it must take. unbelievable!

Re: any of my advice - Happy to give my two cents, but not an expert... just a girl who loves riding horses!
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-12-2014, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Oh i dont look forward to having to two point with stirrups at all, I've seen people do it, it looks hard! I also get so tempted to jump on here every time i ride just to share. I tell my friends instead, they generally have no idea what I'm talking about. They dont understand why riding with stirrups is so great, or what leg yielding is.
My instructor keeps telling me that i tense my legs too much, better try to fix that :P

Riding horses is so fun
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If I am not riding I'm thinking about horses, and if I am not thinking about horses I'm riding
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-12-2014, 08:42 PM
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horseNpony, that's fantastic. We all know how great those moments are even if we can never tell them to muggles and get any validation. That is a huge step forward you made today. If you keep dropping your stirrups, you will find your overall seat improving in leaps and bounds.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-12-2014, 08:58 PM
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Great job, and thankyou for sharing your enthusiasm.
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-13-2014, 03:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, im still really happy with myself :) Now it's time to improve my stirrupless riding.

If I am not riding I'm thinking about horses, and if I am not thinking about horses I'm riding
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-23-2014, 05:16 PM
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I'm adding a "one step forward" to this post for myself...!

I have returned to riding in October 2012 basically starting over. In January 2014, I switched barns. My new trainer is amazing, but also very strict & conservative about safety & advancing. Even though my old barn had me learning jump courses, and I had jump 2 ft a bunch of times, I was back to mostly flat work with this new trainer.

well this weekend she set up a cross rail for me.. ! Knowing that she felt I was ready for it considering her strict standards made me feel like I had accomplished something. and now that I've done it "her way" the jump itself almost felt like part of the flat work - I felt incredibly solid going over it. My leg was so much stronger and kept me 100% with my horse like it wasn't even leaving the ground. Overall I think people can do it the other way, but I personally love the slow and steady - it's almost like you master the next level before even getting there. if that makes sense.

Re: any of my advice - Happy to give my two cents, but not an expert... just a girl who loves riding horses!
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-24-2014, 04:51 AM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
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My instructor says you build up a pyramid, strong foundations give you a better result. You will probably feel better going over those higher jumps now :)

If I am not riding I'm thinking about horses, and if I am not thinking about horses I'm riding
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