Saturday 15 March 2014

Lesson Recap #3: Banishing the T-Rex

Checkers is shedding and saying spring is due, already!
My lesson was fine. I'm getting more and more comfortable riding a big horse again and that big stride is starting to feel like the norm rather than "Whoa, how did we get here quite so quickly?!"

We did a whole lot of two point at the walk and trot, and a bunch of sitting trot and circles/serpentines to warm up. Only a little bit of canter work to warm up since we go one at a time for that - the indoor is only so big with 3-4 of us in there plus the jumps. As mentioned Checkers has a huge stride so it's a relief to just take a turn and not to have to continously navigate around the other horses. No points for originality at this barn though - it was the exact same lesson as Wednesdays, including the jump course. Since Wednesday night's lesson wasn't my finest hour I was OK with getting a second chance.

I was happier with my riding. I do feel like I'm getting more and more confident and that's the key to everything, really. I know there is a capable and decent rider inside me but it's been a little hard to find her of late! I'm already at the point where mentally I'm starting to feel pretty darn good about things (thank you, Checkers!) - now it's a matter of making my body believe it and forget being quite so tense when things don't go exactly to plan.

Takeaways from the last couple of lessons - like many, when I feel overfaced/tense up I drop my hands and my heels creep up. Both are really easy for me to see and feel that I'm doing, because it does actually feel awkward to ride like that and puts me in a weaker position. So, my hands have turned into a visual reminder for me to relax. And yes, I can remind myself I need to relax and it works lol - I envision what I must look like with little T-Rex arms clamped uselessly to my sides:

T-Rex, sorry, but you have no place in riding either
Hope everyone is having a great weekend!


  1. I love hearing about your jumping adventures. That's odd that it was the same course, but in some ways maybe that's a good thing. Do over! My heels used to creep up too, not just over fences but at the canter. I had anxiety issues at the canter until a couple of years ago. It will go away, promise!

    1. It's really discouraging and frustrating to me that I've gotten a little more nervous the last year or so. So nice to know others have been there and got past it. I love that your blog is so honest about your ups and downs, and it's super cool to see how far you (and Connor!) have come.