Last week Belinda Trussell rode Biasini and when she had finished her work with him I got on to just spend a bit of time in the saddle and walk Biasini. So up I get and I asked him to trot so I could practice some posting trot . Then I heard Belinda’s voice: “You are sitting to the left.” And then: “try to not let your legs come forward”. Ah Yes! I was back. Belinda then asked if I minded some corrections or would I rather just ride. I immediately replied that I wanted the corrections.
Then Belinda had me do a simple exercise: leg yield head to the wall. In this exercise the rider asks the horse to leg yield along the wall and then perhaps make a turn on the forehand and go back leg yielding in the other direction. As I did this Belinda would ask for more angle or less angle. I was back using muscles I had forgotten I had.
At the end Belinda said in reference to feeling compelled to teach: “This is the problem when you have an ambitious coach.” I laughed. She is talking about being ambitious for me not for herself.
Now I have arranged with Belinda to do some “mini lessons”. Lots of work can be done at the walk: shoulder in, haunches in, leg yielding, half passes. Why is this important? I have been away from riding for two months. If I start back and I am not in the correct position or applying the aids correctly, in no time at all, I could be setting the wrong habits. So why not have Belinda giving me corrections so I can come back establishing the right habits. I am lucky to have a coach who will give mini lessons at the walk. Belinda will get on and start Biasini with a warm up and then I will get on and we will start our “lesson” for about 20 minutes or half a hour. All of the exercises will be done at the walk. I think I could do sitting trot or canter without pain or aggravation to the injured hip but what I cannot do is use my body well enough to get Biasini into the right frame. A frame like this.
Every moment on the horse is a training moment .Biasini has had two months of being ridden by excellent professionals who give him the precisely correct aids. I might only confuse him and undo their good riding work. But at the walk I can focus on my aids and with Belinda’s instruction know when I need more or need less.
Once I am stronger I will move up to the trot and canter. But for now the walk will serve me well . And it is worth remembering this:
Small opportunities are often the start of great enterprises.Demosthenes