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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all!
After a little over a year and a half's break from riding due to being abroad, I decided a couple of weeks ago to take a jump and start half leasing a horse!
Well.... my riding is not anything like it was before I took the break!

Before the hiatus, I was cantering through a small course, could walk, trot, and canter with no issue. Posting trot without stirrups was laughable. I could gallop on a horse just fine. And this was only from riding for a 30 min lesson once a week.
Now, I am back in the saddle 3 times a week. The horse I have decided to lease, Leo, is the sweetest thing in the entire world - he does everything I ask, and I have no problems with him on the ground whatsoever. My riding is a different story. Instead of writing a novel about it, I'm just going to make a list. :wink:

- As soon as I begin to trot, my calves come off of Leo's sides and slip forward, leaving me without any grip from my lower legs.
- I find that I am leaning forward too much as I am posting the trot, and have a lot of trouble keeping my shoulders back and my back engaged.
- My canter aids have gone wack - I find I am having trouble sitting deep in the saddle, and instead I try to lean forward to find balance. I don't plan on cantering for awhile, but for the couple of times I tried, I noticed I lost my fluidity in transition.

So, in summary, I feel that I am riding a horse like I would sit on an armchair! I try to keep all my muscles engaged but it is not coming to me like it used to. I cannot afford a trainer probably at least summer, if even then, so that is out of the question. This throws in another bit of work on top as I have no idea how I appear to those on the ground; I can only gauge how well I am doing by how I feel on the horse. I try to take what I recall from my old lesson barns and stick them into my riding. Ex: Trotting at a two point; dropping stirrups to find the natural leg position; attempting to trot without stirrups; using trot poles.

I was wondering if any of you lovely people could help me out with devising a schedule! I would really like to get on a 'program' like I have with running, but I have no idea where to start. I feel like there are so many concepts of riding that my body has just fallen out of practice with, and I would like to build them back up and feel comfortable in each gait.

Any help would be excellent!! Thank you :grin:
 

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Pilates and bridging, maybe some stair stepping for you to redevelop your core and legs. Only if those things are okay for you.

Lots of saddle time to get the riding part figured out again.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply boots!!
I have been doing a lot of core and leg exercises over the past 6 months so I think I have that bit all figured out. I could use a little more stretching though! ;)
I'm mostly concerned about the time in the saddle - I feel like I've forgotten which parts of my legs are supposed to be turned in one way, how each muscle needs to be used! Is there anything that you think would be good for me to practice while riding? I did do some stirrupless trotting today and I feel like that really helped. Do you know any other balance/seat/leg exercises that could help?

P.S. Anybody else, feel free to answer this as well! ALL advice is excellent! :)
 
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