Tuesday, March 25, 2014

So Many Little Things

Sorry I'm so behind on my blogging! I'm hoping to catch up soon, but life is crazy busy and hasn't left much time for blogging. In no particular order, here's where we're at.

 Sitting trot: Looking good. So much that more people have asked me if I'm showing this year. SHOWING!!? However, my left knee on the inside has begun hurting after every ride where I do sitting trot. The last time I brought it up I was told that I was gripping with my knee. Ummm. Thank you Captain Obvious, but I need more direction than that. I have a lesson tomorrow and I'm going to be asking for specific exercises to work on not gripping with my knee. If you have any, let me know. At this point, riding without stirrups is out of my comfort zone. My barn doesn't do lunge lessons, so that's not an option either. Sigh.

 Spooking and Attention: After my ride on Sunday, someone was cleaning out their tack trunk. They had left their stuff hanging in various places in the aisle. I was dismounted and was attempting to lead Licorice through the arena gate. He looked. And froze. And the whirled away, almost knocking me over and backing up into another horse. Not cool. I made him back up and listen to me and then we went back to the gate. He took a look and walked through and then was fine. But I still struggle with keeping his attention and what to do when he freezes. In the middle of a ride, he'll see a horse outside and go all giraffe necked on me. Then he'll suck back. I kick him forward, but we usually are going slow with him dragging his head up to look. So then I revert back to grabbing the inside rein and hauling his head around. I really need to have a better plan and I'm frustrated that we regress so quickly. I will have a chance to work on all of this on Saturday because.... 

Going Off The Farm!!: We are actually leaving the farm on Saturday. We're taking the horses to a local arena where the show team is going to take lessons and do practice tests. And where I will attempt to not die of a panic attack or get run away with. I hope Licorice loads okay. I hope we have a good time. Can you ride with hip flasks in dressage? :)



  1. Liquid courage isn't a bad idea... I've had some lovely relaxing trail rides after a few belts. ;D

  2. Most dressage shows we have went to, the riders have more than water in their coolers :) Have a great time!

  3. Hip flasks are totally allowed, bits with leverage, no.. beverages with leverage? yes!

    Re: knee pinching - obviously your trainer is the best resource for this, but there are a few easy exercises that I like/do on my own. first, check your saddle, the wrong balance (for you, not your boy) can make it really, really, really hard to unlock your knee and not feel like you're going to die. Maybe try riding in some friends' saddles for comparison?

    Also, unless you feel relatively solid in your base I think riding without stirrups can actually encourage more pinching, not less, so no judgement there!

    At the walk I find it helpful to lift both my legs up and away from the saddle flap (like wings) then drop them back down. Sometimes this loosens/re positions my hips and gets my knee *off*.

    Also, if I shorten my stirrups a hole (or two), then really focus on pulling my knee away (literally a gap) and stepping into my big toe... that helps. I do the big toe/gap thing when I'm trying to readjust while I'm riding/showing. It's my mental check.

    also, when I was fighting bad saddle fit my trainer had me take my reins in one hand and use my other hand to hold the pommel and literally PULL my hips to the front of the saddle, which made it possible to un-clamp my knees and drop into my heel more... There are lots of fun stretching/position exercises that you can do on your own at the walk to help strengthen your base/leg without an instructor, which might help you feel better!

    Either way, have fun this weekend!!

  4. Stretching your legs down - thinking them longer - is the best way to keep relaxed legs (whether sitting the trot or at other times). On spooking, just pay no attention whatsoever and keep right on asking for/doing what you want him to do. Make sure he's learned how to lead properly (e.g. never come into your personal space) so he won't run into you even if he spooks.