It’s rare I get to do two lesson updates in one month, but hubby was feeling generous and opted to spend another gorgeous day with me at the barn (poor him). Thankful tho!
So some things finally clicked with my riding. First, it’s inside leg over everything. Before when trying to collect Leo, I would try inside rein or outside rein or both with both legs to collect. Nothing worked, he always just trotted. Outside rein and inside leg only? It’s the holy grail of riding Leo. I don’t know why it never clicked for me before, my trainers would always tell me to do it but now it’s like I’m finally able to apply it. Leo doesn’t especially love being made to collect himself which I think is apparent from the pinned ears most the time. Hopefully we can find a happy medium between a twenty-foot long stride and being a grumpy Gus having to engage his hind end. I hate seeing the angry ears over fences.
I’m also trying to work on my posture and back muscles. What’s worked best for me is imagining strings tied to the bottom, inner corners of my shoulder blades and those strings being pulled down. It’s much easier than just using my weak upper back muscles to pull my shoulders back which always makes me super sore. We're getting there.
Also, can I point out how little my leg swings now!? Seriously, I’m so proud of the progress I’ve made in the strength department. I honestly thought it could be years before I was that strong.
My next priority I think will be working on not jumping ahead and/or too far out of the saddle. Nothing like having an amazing lesson and going home to watch the video, pausing over every jump and thinking WWGMS: what would George Morris say? (He would say jumping ahead is an epidemic in modern riding) (and that makes me sad)
I also wonder if I sit down [make contact] in the saddle too soon after a jump, or if my butt is just so big that it touches the cantle but it’s fine because it’s not my seat/seat bones touching down? I need to find other big booty riders and see what they have to say.
Note: these breeches are super unflattering, I'm never straying from Tailored Sportsman again. My TS’s don’t accentuate my jiggling. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I TRY TO CHANGE IT UP.
All in all, I feel like I’m well on my way to being prepared for the schooling show in April and I’m HYPED.