A synopsis of events since spring:
- Val becomes three legged lame with a never pops mystery abscess. Six weeks gone.
- I learn a
- After a crazy month straight of rain every day, (source of abscess), apparently, it will never rain again. Water table historically low - my sand arena... more like a quicksand arena.
- I find L, my new trainer, who is super helpful, but located far, far away.
So now we're working towards an October 18th clinic. L's a student of Mary Wanless and Mark Rashid, specializing in biomechanics. So fortunate to have this opportunity.
The plan of action to prepare for our trip hinges on short term goals:
Daily - confirm forward, focus on contact, pick one other thing to work on for each ride.
Weekly - keep rides short but increase frequency each week. No drilling. Consistency is key.
Monthly - both of us fit, with the basics confirmed, so we can move forward while we have the benefit of several days with a trainer.
Changing trainers has provided an interesting lens to analyze my riding through. One element where there's a glaring difference, is the go button. With OT the aid was calf related. A wiggle of the ankle to lightly brush the barrel with your calf, tap, tap, tap with the whip as backup. NT - more seat/weight oriented, and straight to the whip if necessary. Thigh on, but calf has a whisper of contact. With OT I remember feeling that the motion of my leg was pulling me out of position. With NT, I'm stable.
With L's horse Tom Terrific, it definitely made a difference, because as I struggled not to nag with my leg while asking for the trot - surprise - we went straight to the canter. A bumpy little "not sure if you were asking for this - crazy lady with the spastic legs" canter. After a few tries I moderated my ask and we had a decent trot transition. Hello forward horse + light aids... it's been a while.
Anyhow - that's where we are. My seat is feeling more secure and effective. Val's been relaxed and blowing, tentatively taking contact. My aids are getting lighter, and lighter aids are all that's necessary. Every ride is a little better than the last. We've only got about a third of the arena that's rideable, but throw some cones in to make it interesting and we're cooking with gas.
If you haven't already, head over to Life of Riley to enter a contest celebrating her 200th post. (with really great prizes) Or don't - better chances for me that way! ;D
|smooches for a good boy|