Two steps forward and one step back. That’s how it’s supposed to go. But what about those times when you feel that you’ve taken two steps forward and two steps back and have made no progress at all. . That is the circle I found myself in last week. My coach, Belinda Trussell, took a video of my lesson. Video does not lie. It is a very useful learning tool because it gives you a reality check.
When I looked at the video from that lesson I said: ” What am I doing? My hands are too high. My arms are too rigid. I’m too stiff in my back.” I was very annoyed with myself. I saw things I had corrected months ago that had come creeping back. ARGH!
At the beginning of my next lesson I told Belinda that I was annoyed with myself and how badly I had ridden. She said: “I don’t totally agree with you. How do you think Biasini was going in the lesson?” I thought about it and said: ” He was OK but he can be much better.”
We went on to discuss why I was tight in my arms and body and why Biasini was not going as well as he could. The nub of it is this: if I feel he is pulling or getting heavy in my hands I must lighten him immediately. Legs on more. Hands lighter. Make those corrections immediate. Because if I tolerate less than the best from him then my arms will get tight because he will be pulling. This is nothing new. It’s the basics!
So in the lesson we worked on that. Basics.Basics. Basics. And I had to work without stirrups. Why? Not just because it is No Stirrups November but because when I ride with no stirrups I use my leg aids more effectively. No Stirrups. No pulling by me or Biasini.
You will also hear Belinda talking about my stomach! This means that she wants me to release my hips to move with the horse’s movement. My Florida coach Lou Denizard has been on my case about this last winter.
OK! I’m working on it. And I will get it better.
Featured image of horse’s legs (C) Connie Gee