Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Penn State University Park
• Horses: 0
Probably the most difficult lesson yet, but I learned a lot.
Today my coach and I discovered that when posting, my leg slides back too far, the stirrups slide back to my heel, and my toes really don't stay up as much as they need to. Apparently, the stirrups should go closer to the ball of the foot. She told me to push my leg forward toward the girth every time I post up. At first, although I could tell what I was doing wrong and I could feel that I was doing it wrong, but I couldn't tell what to do instead in order to correct this. Also, Violet was being really sluggish and stubborn today - she's one of 2 horses I've ridden so far. So first the coach gave me a crop, then had me trade for a whip. I was also told that I was being too delicate with my use of the whip.
After a while, I did get a lot better with keeping my leg forward. It will take some time to achieve consistency with this. Once I discovered what it felt like to push my legs forward when posting, it became easier to tell when I was doing it right. I did have to slow down to a walk, or stop altogether, a few times, because my stirrups had slid so far back on my foot. Also, the coach told me it would be helpful to turn my feet out, especially when kicking Violet to get her moving. This actually helped keep my toes up when posting. We rode a few patterns - we rode one of the IDA Intro tests today. Both my lesson buddy and I were generally having trouble. She has more trouble with her hands than I do, but her legs are more consistent than mine. Sometimes our coach has us ride the patterns by ourselves. I find this is helpful, especially to watch the other rider to see what she does. If she does something well, I try to duplicate it. If she could improve upon something, I try to remember it so I can work on it myself. Also, I learned the meaning of "medium walk" and "free walk" today. I felt clueless - this is what happens when you take a 5-6 year break from riding! Never again will I choose marching band over riding.
Anyway, when I was walking with the girl on the dressage team who drives my lesson buddy and I to lessons, the first thing I said to her is, "Well, I'm not going to the next show." It was definitely a struggle, and I feel like my ankles might hurt tomorrow, but definitely a necessary learning experience. Staying positive!