Calm, Forward, Straight

Calm, Forward, Straight

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Clinic Notes: Day five and six

Wednesday afternoon. My trainer got called in to work yesterday. Since it gets dark so early in the evenings now, I elected to ride along with one of her other students rather than miss out. An excellent decision. Both of us had really good rides. Effective warm-up, achieving a smooth flowing walk and then more solid trot work. I focused on my posture... not leaning forward or leading with my upper body, keeping my hips even, keeping even weight in my stirrups, driving with my legs... receiving with my hands. Circles, serpentines and great transitions. This ride encompassed everything that I want to happen when Val and I work on our own. Uplifting!

Thursday morning - one last ride + a tack review. I woke up early to get the truck and trailer mostly packed, with the intention of getting another ride in before heading home. My fellow student arrived and we proceeded to groom and tack the boys up. I decided to try out the Thinline bareback pad I found when tack shopping on Monday. Val was starting to get sore (barefoot on the hard ground) so since I wasn't planning to work him too hard it seemed like a good time to test the pad out.

The pad is very well made, with a material on the underside that is anti-microbial and grippy. The girth, a cinch type, is made of the same material, and is stretchy. My complaint with other bareback pads I have ridden in is that they slip. This one totally stayed put. It didn't even budge when I scrambled on. It fit Val's back beautifully. The top is non-slip as well, at least in combination with my full seat breaches. I felt completely secure. The best part - Val was licking, chewing and reaching for the bit - soft - from the very beginning of the ride. He was using his back and reaching under himself. My legs and seat felt like they were getting a good stretch as well. Thinline bareback pad - expensive but well worth it. I can't wait to ride in it again. I believe Val agrees - two thumbs up!

Final thoughts. Eight rides in six days... six with Val and two longing sessions. (Val gets tomorrow off!) The clinic surpassed my expectations.

Here's the goal list I made for this past week:
  • A more secure seat / more confident rider.
  • We've got "calm" down - now I want to focus on "forward". This will stem from the secure seat. When I ask for more energy it won't be half-hearted or timid.
  • Solid transitions up and down in the walk and trot, with Val reaching, stretching and using his back.
  • Leg yielding and baby lateral work.
  • Ideally we'll attempt some canter work as well. 
  • Some new photos and possibly video
Not too shabby. While I wasn't ready for lateral work yet - I'm hoping to be on track at my next lessons. And although I had intended to get longed more often, it's probably good that I didn't as in the evenings after longing sessions I was pretty stiff. Due to scheduling I missed out on a lesson, but instead I reached within myself, faced some fears, and took responsibility for training my horse and myself. High hopes!



  1. Sounds like a great outing for you both!

  2. I'd say the clinic was a great success for both of you. It's always nice to see a happy smiling rider in pictures, you two look great together. And your list of goals is achievable and realistic. Have fun this week working towards them.

  3. Your Smile in the photo on your Val- says it all...and, ON the new bareback pad I see!

    Your goals and the clinic sound like they melded perfectly. I am happy to hear it for you!
    Just enough lunging not kill you, good!

  4. These were excellent reports, so much fun to read. Congratulations on maximizing your experience and making real progress. What a lovely horse you have!

  5. Kate-

    It was wonderful. And couldn't have come at a better time :)

  6. Arlene-

    We had so much fun. Riding this past week was a real joy :)

  7. KK-

    Too funny that we both found the thinline pads - comfort and security for us and the horses. The clinic surpassed my expectations - I'm full of motivation and happiness :)

  8. Muddy K-

    I'm so glad you enjoyed the clinic posts. I was hoping they wouldn't be tedious or too repetitive. Writing down my riding experiences helps solidify them for me :)

  9. Very impressive! Congratulations on your great work.

  10. your horse is adorable and looks happy and relaxed. i love your list of goals and the way you've prioritized them. it sounds like a great plan for continued progress - best of luck :-)

    ps- the pad sounds great - i may have to look into one for myself!


I love, love, love my readers, and knowing that you've stopped by - it really makes my day.

However, to avoid the new illegible blogger word verification, I've added comment moderation. Lesser of two evils.

Please don't let this stop you - keep those comments coming!! :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...