Originally Posted by MIEventer
I know how you feel! Heck, even when you are riding and don't remain diligent on keeping your muscle memory, it's hard to maintain it. Great way to know how out of shape one really is...lol. Pretty sad eh?
Anyways, lots of stirrupless work - if you can do that on your green OTTB. If not, can you get access to a reliable mount where you can build yourself back up? If not, no worries! You can also have a friend put you on a lunge line, with no reins.
By you riding with no reins, you quickly find your seat, and your legs. You learn to not rely on your hands to ride, but instead you learn to rely on your seat and your legs - which in turn, you train your muscles as to where they need to be, and what to do.
Be careful to not learn to grip :)
Also, you can do alot of 2 point work - solidifying your lower leg at the girth *toes just reaching the girth* make sure when you are doing this, if you look down and can see your toes, your lower leg is too far foward....anyways...opening your knees, inner calf wrapped around your horses girth and your heels absorbing all of your bodies weight.
Yes, I know what you mean...it is sad how quickly we get out of shape.
Actually, he's a rare gem as far as OTTBs go. He's SO calm and laid back (as long as my mare isn't within 15 feet of him while he's eating...then he's NASTY to her). I actually ended our riding today with some stirrupless work. But I left my legs hang loose as he was starting to get a bit irritated by the legs. I know OTTBs aren't used to leg aids, so I'm taking it slowly. I was really emphasizing leg aids today, and he'd reached his "enough" point. But yes, I do trust him enough to ride w/o stirrups.
As for lunging...we're still working on that. LOL He's...not quite grasped the concept like that. I might be able to work him in my landlady's round pen (we rent a 3/2 house on 2 acres, pasture, barn and my landlady has a big AQHA farm behind us...and has offered to let me use her facilities) and work him in there. :o)
Thanks for the tips on the unmounted exercises. I think my kids will have fun trying to imitate me too. LOL