Hi everyone! I just joined today and I am so happy to have found this fount of knowledge! I just started riding again about 4 months ago after 22 years off the saddle. I grew up riding paso fino horses in Puerto Rico, and I have now ventured into the beautiful world of English riding.
Needless to say it's been quite eye opening to learn about posting diagonals, walking without looking like my lesson horse is half asleep, keeping contact with the bit, sitting trots (woooo bouncy!), cantering on a correct lead and of course, 2-point position. Ya mean I don't just get up on my stirrups and stick my butt out ?
I've been doing yoga and stability ball exercises to help build core strength and balance, and it has helped. But I keep falling forward after going over cavaletti. The first 2 poles I'm ok, but on the 3rd one I just become a total mess and fall forward, having to grab the horse's neck for balance.
It was ok while I was going over them at trot. I was able to keep mostly upright. But last week I tried it while cantering. I went over the first 2 poles beautifully then the last one I ended up falling out of my stirrups and hanging onto the side of my lesson OTTB like I was Spiderwoman climbing a building. Thankfully I righted myself back up so I didn't end up eating dirt. It was a spectacular save that got me props with the girls at the barn, but I'm not trying to be a stunt rider here lol!
I'm thinking next lesson I'm going to shorten my stirrups a notch to make keeping my heel down easier and hopefully that'll help. Any advice that you all may have for this newbie will be most appreciated. Also, if anyone knows of exercises I can do off horse to strengthen my legs to keep them wrapped around the horse. My instructor tells me to do it (MORE LEG!), I think I'm doing it, but I can feel my feet flopping in the wind and know it ain't happening. Plus I'm trying to keep my shoulders back and eyes up and trying not to fall forward and... gaahhh!!