Saturday, 10 March 2012

Negative Notions need Nipping in the Bud

I got myself a telling off from The Guru this evening (Friday 9/3/12) after our lesson.
Kika was very good and L said I rode well and am improving, she gave out to me as I was being negative and bemoaning my (IMHO) rubbish leg positioning and unwilling-to-stay-down-heels.
She basically told me to quit being so hard on myself and to sit back and take a couple of minutes to take stock of what we'd achieved in this evenings lesson and indeed the spins I've had this week...

(1) This evening I worked Kika without lungeing her beforehand - and she was very good! Fingers crossed it lasts! The Guru highlighted and tried to hammer home the fact that if i wasn't riding well the horse wouldn't have behaved ... as Kika is a sensitive soul despite her pomp and pretend tough exterior and really does feed off the rider in positive and negative ways (namely if you're not 100% she i guess rightly believes she shouldn't be either )
(2) Kika and I have been very good this week, both in lessons and monday when i rode on my own - i myself feel that we have made progress, again mostly my honing in on mistakes i was making and trying to cut them out has helped Kika with consitency of contact on the reins so she now has a better feel for what is going on. Even if my heels continue to sneak up of their own accord and my leg attempts to wander back out of position - I need to be stricter with my lower limbs!

(3) L reminded me that I am still getting used to riding in a different type of saddle and that having ridden in GP/jumping saddles my whole life it will require an ajustment period to get aquainted with this different style of riding and the body positioning that is to go with it.

Our transitions were better, I am slowly coming around to the notion of squeezing with my calfs and not nudging with my heels to transition up from trot to walk (when i get a better grip on this i should also be better able to keep my heels from sneaking up  , I hope!).
As well as remembering to keep my leg on while transitioning down to walk - this one will take more work...but baby steps!
Our canter while better than yesterday and deffinitely better thanw hen we were in the smaller arena last saturday is still far from an oil painting. Kika and I face a bit of a conundrm when it comes to cantering, as apparently I ride/sit the canter better when my backside is in the saddle - whereas she goes better when I can ride "en suspension" - which it turns out is even harder then I thought last night as I actually wasn't doing it exactly right! 
I thought I was to ride in a jumping position, backside out of saddle and weight balanced over withers and light hands. Although L has been having me keep reins short as we tend to work our canter predomantly on a circle expanding out to the whole arena when we are going well - so as not to jar Kika's mouth I have been cheating slightly and resting my hands up her neck.
It turns out what I was supposed to be doing and had to attempt this evening is to basically stand straight up in my stirrups - it'll help keep the weight in my heels and stop me unbalancing the horse by tipping forward - plus if she throws her head/neck up (to hollow her back and avoid the harder work) she won't hit me in the face.

Simples one might think, until we remembers I am still coming to terms with the dressage saddle and longer stirrups...

As always plenty to work on and I'll probably find myself fairly stiff tomorrow after two flatwork lessons on consecutive days - but it'll all come together in the end. L's biggest complaint about my attitude this evening (and i know i should know better) was to remember that it all takes time - i just get particularly frustrated with my heels and legs as really they should be better behaved!

But must be better and focus on the positives...we are improving! 
Slowly but surely...I hope!

Sore legs might be a bit of an issue tomorrow as I'm supposed to get myself dolly-ed up and wear heels to the Rose Ball tomorrow night, giving Kika tomorrow off as she's done something each day since Sunday. Then L has offered to give me two more lessons on Sunday and Monday before she heads off for a few days to a friend of hers in France for a stage/clinic of sorts...she was supposed to go to this with her mare O a few weeks back but didn't end up going due to adverse weather conditions and road worries. Unfortunately there is no stable for her mare this time so she's going alone for some spins and lessons on her friends horses, she has said next time we should organise ourselves so that I can go with. I've told her to take her time, not sure I'm ready for others to see me riding yet, 
Thanks again for reading and to everyone who has given me feedback on my posts to date! I really do appreciate it, and hope that this addition doesn't undo any postive thoughts you may have had for me after the other updates this week...

I did try to convince the Mammy to come with me this evening to make mini-videos of the lesson in the hopes of (a) watching myself to see what I can see to work on and how my riding looks myself and (b) to share with you loyal readers of all my drivel! Will see if i have better luck coaxing her around for Sunday's lesson - Fingers crossed!

1 comment:

  1. Having slept on it I have come to the fllowing conclusion.
    I guess after the good week we've had I took for granted that Kika behaved, so the focus left her and returned to me and being the pessimist I am the rose tinted glasses came off, and I berated myself.
    L was 100% right in calling me on it and telling me to cop on, these things do not happen overnight and working on them is half the fun...or so I'm led to believe. Am sure my legs, back, shoulders and arms would disagree however, ;)

    I shall endeaver to do better and start giving you something positive to read!


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