dressage, equestrian, lunge lesson, riding lessons, stirrups

My Stupid Legs

Today’s lesson was about my stupid legs.

Acting independently from my brain — who is supposed to be in charge — my legs pinch or pull up and my feet dangle in the stirrups. Rising trot is fine. Sitting trot, bleck.

I love sitting trot. I bounce along in motion with my horse, happy with or without stirrups. In fact, happier without stirrups – because they point out the problem.


I discuss the issue with Natalie at the start of our lesson and she says, “It sounds like a good day for a lunge lesson!”


Continue reading…

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cantering, dressage, leg yield, renvers, stirrups, transitions

Like Two Feet of Fresh Pow

I finally came up with an analogy to help my non-horsey husband understand why I’m cranky about leaving town right now.

I’m having so much fun with my horse and our barn community, I’m just not eager to leave. Micah and I are really starting to click. I’m dutifully working without stirrups, trying to improve my seat and memorize the feel of where my legs should be.

A minor adjustment to my position in the saddle made a huge difference in our last lesson. I was able to sit more deeply in the canter, with that mysterious sense of being ‘engaged.’ I want to own this. Micah came up and under me in a whole new way.

Last week's schooling show gave us great input as to what to work on next

Last week’s schooling show gave us great input as to what to work on next

I’d love another thousand hours of cantering without stirrups to help me get it right. Throw in transitions, leg yields, and changes of direction to challenge my stability. Add exercises like shoulder-in to renvers to make me move in the saddle without blowing my leg position. I love the challenge – both physical and mental.

Yet here we are, packing for a trip to Palo Alto. Not in the least bit a vacation destination. I am so grumpy.

“Imagine,” I tell my husband  “that it’s ski season and you get two feet of fresh pow.” (That’s ski-language for fresh powder, also known as ‘freshy.’ )

“Oh,” Al said, with a glimmer of understanding. Al’s the kind of ski-nerd who’ll get up early to put first tracks in the pow. He’d be crying if we were leaving town after a fresh snowfall.

Al on the slopes, his happy place

Al on the slopes, his happy place

“That’s how I feel,” I told him — although what I have is WAY better than even the best day on the mountain. Counting the days until I find myself back in the barn, working on attaining balance and feel.

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