Monday, July 28, 2008

Friday July 25th

Finally after almost 3 weeks without a lesson I was able to get a lesson in!!!! I was so excited to finally get onto a horse again.
I took a private lesson and rode Balley, an Arabian, that is 21 years old but is still frisky for his age.

I have never ridden him before but he was alot of fun and am actually hoping to ride him again. He is much smaller than Sophie and is much more sensitive to the aids so that was actually nice for me. Didn't seem to sweat quite as much ;)
We started out with some leg yields, then trotting rectangles, then some figure 8's, which for some reason I really struggle with. I know what an 8 looks like in my head but when it comes to doing one on a horse I really have a hard time. Also worked on keeping Balley constantly turning and keeping a nice bend. I had a breakthrough and finally starting listening to my trainer when she said OPEN your OUTSIDE rein! Oh, you mean that outside rein??? So you want me to open my outside rein, keep my inside shoulder down, change diagonals in the middle of the 8, keep my ankles down, and pull my inside rein a little and post properly???? Oh is that it? Easy....
When I finally started doing that he started to bend a bit more easily and things looked a bit better.

Then on to some cantering... Balley pulls a bit forward when going into the canter so that took a few tries on my part to understand and give him some more rein. Once we got going he had a great canter, very smooth and light. My trainer said my canter looked great, very relaxed and that my hands were very soft. A great compliment in my book.

On another note, I am leaving my current job and going to start working at Bit of Britain late next month. I am going to take over some of the buying responsibility that John Nunn, the owner, currently takes care of and I will start doing some business analysis/planning for them. I am quite excited as I am hopefully going to be able to merge my passion for horses with my experience as a buyer. So as that job gets started I'll keep everyone up to date on that and maybe give some tips/advice/coming soon info on tack!

So I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that no storms hit us on Wednesday...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Summer storms...

So the weather has become my arch nemesis lately. For some reason it has been deciding to storm every Wednesday afternoon which is my group lesson day....grrrr. So that is the reason my blogs have been slow since today was my first real lesson in about 3 weeks!!!
I did go on a trail ride which was nice and I got to ride the biggest horse in our barn, Ponch, a TB.! That was a bit scary for me but I'm here and I survived.
Anway, I will update on today's lesson tomorrow because its getting late but wanted to keep everyone updated on why there haven't been any posts lately...

See you tomorrow

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Long time, no blog...

Ok so I've had 2 lessons since my last blog. I need to get better about putting my notes down immediately after my lesson.
Anyway, here goes trying to recall what happened at my private lesson last Friday. It was hot, that I definitely remember well. I rode Sophie and we concentrated on my leg placement which is pretty not good at this point. I need to work on keeping my toes out and not relying so much on the knee role (I tend to rest my legs in there too much). In addition getting the squeezing down is becoming my biggest challenge to date so we did alot of trotting even without stirrups which was very hard. I mean how in the world does one post the trot without using stirrups????

My leg placement did seem to improve with no stirrups though so although it was hard it did help me to feel where the correct placement should be. This is definitely an exercise that is worth repeating.

So needless to say alot of my energy now is really getting to focus on my legs and using them to propel Sophie forward.

I had my regular group lesson yesterday and the one thing that I am really noticing now after almost a year of riding is just how much I've learned this year. In August I'll have to do a little run down of all that I've accomplished in just one short year of riding (I'll save that for another blog)
One of the big things is how much more comfortable I am on the ground with horses and especially with Sophie. I am actually able to help other riders at this point in showing them how to groom and tack up so that is making me feel much more confident.
I have also been spending a good part of the last year reading alot of horsey books and I think that's contributed alot to my confidence as well. I'm always trying to learn more about being a better rider and just about horses in general.

I'm in the middle of a great book right now called "In Service to the Horse" by Susan Nusser. It follows the life of 3 professional grooms and it is a great horsey read.

So back to the lesson notes, yesterday consisted of transitions, trotting rectangles, cantering and maintaining it, keeping Sophie out on the rail at a canter and doing some small jumps. As usual controlling Sophie (having her focus on me) and my form at the trot are the things I'm really working on right now.

Next week, my instructor said we would spend doing mostly jumping. Yeah!!

ooh, I almost of the boarders was watching our lesson with her husband and as I was riding by they said "you look great up there". I was really excited because I am not a good rider and often feel like I probably look like a mess out there. I need to get more video...

On another note, I have a job interview at a tack shop next week so I'll be sure to keep everyone updated as to what happens with that. That would probably be an amazing way for me to learn ALOT more about horses and their gear.

Stay tuned...