My trip. Part III.
Posted by Irina Yastrebova on Monday, April 26, 2010 09:21 PM
The Sunday show itself was a great experience plus Frances recorded my tests and I was able to evaluate myself afterwards and discuss with Frances my mistakes and asymmetries. I was very happy to have a chance to ride on Monday before my flight. This gave me an opportunity to work on the things I didn't like in my riding during the show. The fact that I had to bring all my stuff to the barn and change there to go to the airport didn't bother me a bit. Washing my boots in Edmonton's airport wasn't a fun procedure but airport personnel was very positive and provided me with all the necessary ingredients. It took me only 5 minutes.
I rode 2 horses. One was the Saddlebred/Friesian cross I showed on Sunday. I lengthened my stirrup leathers and focused on plugging my seatbones in. Before I allowed this horse to drop me to the left with my seatbone sliding off and my lower leg sticking out. Plus I focused on shortening my left diagonal from left shoulder to right hip. Correcting my left side helped me to become more effective in straightening and bending him to the left. It was funny how I tell these things to my students all the time and now Frances was repeating them back to me.
Second one was an Andalusian gelding who belongs to one of Frances students. He is a gorgeous horse and has a very opinionated personality. He lets rider know right away if she did something wrong. The owner was very kind to let me ride him and Frances was very interested to see gelding's reactions to my asymmetries in order to better help her student. Esteban helped me to understand importance of plugging in my seatbones to slow him down and keep him in balance. This horse taught me importance of plugging in my seatbones to keep him moving forward. Every time I lost even a tiny bit of connection with him he would slow down and even stop completely. One time he almost reared. Ruthlessness of this horse showed me very quickly how I must stay vertical and plugged in or I will be in trouble. I'm very grateful to him for such effective lesson. I'm not saying that riding difficult horses is the only way to learn but if challenge is not overwhelming it is a great way for sure. I continued to work on my asymmetries and because this horse has his own asymmetry issues putting it all together was quite a task either direction. One of the things Frances made me work on is bending him on a circles or during shoulder in by swiveling my hips into direction of the turn without unplugging my seatbones. The feel of narrowness between seatbones, good plug in into the saddle and hips turning the whole horse was a true bulb going on in my head. I realized that when my left seatbone isn't truly on a horse this technique doesn't work well and I end up losing the horse's straightness and bent to the left. When left seatbone is engaged inside leg becomes so much more effective. Keeping torso vertical in a forward/back and left/right planes helps to bring a horse under me and to feel when he is starting to drift away. I asked Frances:
How do I know if I'm straight and vertical?
Frances answered:
Horse will tell you, he will be light, balanced and easy to ride.
Again, I was struck by simplicity of these words. I think I appreciate these words even more today than during the heat of the lesson even though this incredible horse gave me a taste of his true potential when he was light, balanced and easy to ride. It was during a shoulder in to the right in trot where all the puzzle pieces clicked together to create a beautiful picture...
Happy riding...
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My blog is about teaching, riding and training. I share what is important to me in my work with horses and riders. The writing helps me to think things over and have a better understanding of training ideas and priciples.
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