Muscle Memory…At Last

Over the course of this winter my coach , Belinda Trussell , has been asking me to “give, give give”. Give before every half halt, before every change of direction, before every transition up or down.

Well that is new muscle memory for me. I tend to freeze and hang on. But at last that old muscle memory is finally being altered and “giving” is getting easier and more automatic for me. The results are just as Belinda promised. The more I give the less Biasini pulls down.

The process of creating new muscle memories is not easy for an older rider like myself. I have gone through frustration and discouragement in this quest. I have talked with Belinda about this and she has been very helpful and encouraging. In the last couple of weeks I have begun to turn a corner and those new muscle memories are begining to stick. Here are a couple of videos from a recent lesson that my husband took . We are not perfect but getting better! As an aside I should let you know it was a HOT day at 31+Celsius or 87.8 Fahrenheit But I don’t mind the heat and Biasini is ok with heat too. We also took lots of short walk breaks which are not on the videos.In this video Belinda asks me to do some 10 meter circles. My circles are a bit random and she tells me that it is important to ride the quality of the circle and with good patterns. 10 meters is 10 meters not 8 and not shaped like an egg!

In this next video Belinda asks us to collect the canter to a pirouette canter in the corners and not loose the frame or activity on the way out of the collected canter. We then move on to a few steps of pirouette.

Thank you to my husband for the videos. And thank you to Belinda for having been patient with my slow progress.

  • featured photo (C) Connie Gee*

19 Comments Add yours

  1. shankjoejoe says:

    Changing muscle memory can definitely be difficult. Especially at my age (over 50) 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yup! As we get older establishing new muscle memory pathways does get harder..thanks for commenting!

      Like

  2. Alli Farkas says:

    Isn’t it amazing when we discover that if we don’t give the horse something to hang on then they can’t hang on us! I’m working on this principle with my mare—always having the bit just out of her reach. We’re getting to the point where I can shorten the reins without feeling the weight in my hands change. It’s been a long trip—but as you said, progress is slow!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Well sounds like you have make progress!

      Like

  3. David says:

    It’s the value of doing exercises over and over again until it becomes second nature. And, when it becomes second nature, you keep doing them. They are your fundamentals. Because I bet you Belinda still does her circles and it’s always 10 meters, and even Isabel Werth, Charlotte Dujardin, Carl Hester work on them too. 🙂 🐴🐴🐴 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      I am sure that those masters of dressage still do their circles. I know Belinda does and they are exactly 10 m and round. No eggs. Thanks for commenting David.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pepper says:

    Good for you, Anne. You are such an encouragement. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Irene I am happy to know that my riding efforts can encourage someone. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations on aquiring muscle memory. I’m always skeptical and nervous about it and ended up trying too hard 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Well acquiring new muscle memories is not so hard when you are a kid or teenager but as we get older it is harder to erase the old memories and replace them.But having a coach who reminds me and a horse who responds positively to the new memories helps lot!Thanks for leaving a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s wonderful how those new muscle memories are being created Anne and Biasini is such a lovely mover when you soften and give. Well done to you both and please give sweet Biasini a big pat from us all 🤗🧡🐴 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I will indeed give him a big pat from you Xenia.🐴 Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Diana says:

    Thank you for sharing your videos! And I’m loving your lessons as little tidbits I can use to either soften my hands or sit up taller. Murphy is so young so working slowly with him but you are always so inspiring!! I’m like you and I rather like warmer weather! ❤️🐴❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks Diana. I’m glad you can get something to use with Murphy from the videos of my lessons.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Michele Lee says:

    A delightful and interesting post! I loved watching your videos and the first photo is gorgeous!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Michelle for your comment and for taking the time to take a look at the videos.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Michele Lee says:

        You are welcome! It is my pleasure to watch. 💗

        Liked by 1 person

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