Sunday, December 29, 2013

Fixing the little things

A lot of people say "don't sweat the little things"...

Unfortunately with riding, I always sometimes to do just that. When I know I'm doing something wrong, but I'm not entirely sure what, I expect my trainer to be aware of it as well. Not only that, but I want to know how to fix it, immediately. I get very frustrated that I can't figure it out and it can ruin a ride for me.

This week we had the most awesome a friend of a friend at the barn come visit for two weeks. She rides Prelim on a regular basis and is bringing her newest young TB up through the levels. She let me hop on him and I realized just what "contact" can mean (my arms now hurt!). She also rode Bonkers Ashe for a bit.

She immediately apologized if she ended up hurting my feelings and I said for her to "lay it on". I wanted that strict, demeaning, straightforward "You are doing this wrong, now here's how we fix it" that I haven't had in a while.

It's great to hear "You look great!" but I also relish in the challenge of getting things perfect right.

What we worked on may be little, but they made a huge difference. Like how I hold my hands (and in conjunction my body) for turns/leg yields which was confusing Ashe and having him pop his shoulder and drift through turns. Or how to better come through my turns into a jump so he's ready as well...

And to stop my horrible habit of just automatically clucking at everything he does. He honestly doesn't need the encouragement but 12 years of lesson ponies will do that to you.

Those little things made such a difference, and I was really grateful for her willing to work with us for a short time. I have some new exercises to work with him on turns, bending and halts, as well as some work for myself (I am unbalanced, tip forward when I get unsure of myself, and "lead" or push my outside hand forward through turns as well).

It felt good knowing what was going on and how to fix it. That isn't to say I don't love my trainer, I do! But sometimes you really need someone who will say "Want to work on the small stuff? Okay, here it is."
Ashe says hello after a "spa" mud bath day!

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