Friday, December 6, 2013

By Jove! I Believe She's Got It!

That's what my horses have to say, I'm happy to report.  About 10 days ago, my horses started working with me intensively on my position - particularly on my right bend and the posture of my head, neck, shoulder and hip.  We started at the walk, and recently have been working on the same thing at trot.

They say that I've made a lot of progress.  I'd agree - the turning/not tipping of my head, and the slight drawing back (instead of dropping) of my inside shoulder, as well as the opening of my hip on the inside - are much more automatic now, after all the practice we've done.  The right isn't entirely automatic yet, but my consistency is much higher.

My consistency is directly reflected by the consistency my horses are giving me - this is always how it is, I think.   Just in the past two days, this has really shone through.  I had one of the best rides I've ever had on Red yesterday (although some of his animation and engagement might have been due to the presence of two mares in the ring - he's quite the ladies' man and likes to show off for them), and my ride today (despite the fact it was in the mid-20s in the arena) on Pie was simply outstanding and the best ride we've ever had - we even tried some canter and it was just as excellent as the trot.

Corners are deep, circles are circles and not eggs, inside hind legs are engaged and stepping under, forward is automatic, hindquarters are engaged and front ends are lifting.  No aids, no pushing, no pulling, just correct posture and focus, and providing openings for them to move into.  Connection and flow, effortless (except for the effort of paying attention). Nothing could be finer.

It's great having three such dedicated and honest teachers - they tell it like it is.  Every improvement in my riding is almost entirely due to Dawn, Red and Pie, and the way to improvement is for me to continue to listen to them.

4 comments:

  1. It's amazing to me how different my two sides are when giving cues. My left side is much more intuitive and the results are much better with Sugar. However, my right side acts like it doesn't belong to me at all.

    Dan

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  2. Just cracking myself up imagining if our horses could blog...

    Keep up the good work Kate!

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  3. Very interesting!

    My left side is looser and my leg drapes more easily, but I have a tendency to collapse. My right side is tighter, which can leave my lower left too far back (Harley will stop since the leg blocks him. ), but I tend to carry myself better in that direction. I love how my horse moves effortlessly when I just focus on those parts of my riding. You are right. The effort is more in the concentration.

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  4. Amazing! That must feel so great to keep having rides like that. I'm sure my horse would love it if I could improve even a bit! ;-)

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