Tuesday, March 22, 2011

First lesson back...

...and it was a disaster.

I hadn't had a lesson since December or early January, because I basically paused my entire life in order to take the bar at the end of February. I didn't even ride in February, I just went out and groomed my horses and left. I was so overwhelmingly stressed at that point I couldn't imagine spending an hour riding that I could have used to study.

And I may have still failed, but that's another issue completely.

This last Sunday I had my first lesson back.

My trainer commented I had my "hunter perch" going on in the first couple of minutes of warm up (I started hunter and now do dressage/eventing) so I knew from step one I had let some of my old bad habits creep back into my riding. It even took me a few minutes longer than usual to get Pete on the bit.

My leg was a disaster. I had gone hiking (6.6 miles!) on Saturday then rode both Pete and Avalon, and then had a lesson on Sunday. I could not for the life of me get my leg to stay in the position I wanted it to, nor did it feel like I had enough power to push him over for a leg yield. I don't know if it was from working so hard the day before or if I had just lost muscle strength from my slacking, but I ride again this afternoon so we'll find out sooner or later.

Pete was giving me fits when I tried to push him into a leg yield towards the right, something to do with the right rein. When I just left the right rein alone and tried to get him over using my legs and just the left rein for half halts he didn't spaz out. I don't know if I was trying to overcompensate for my lack of strength in my leg by being too harsh with the rein, but I'm hoping it was just a temporary issue. He was definitely telling me something was up, so I'm just going to be careful with that rein for a while, hoping it was my discombobulation that was the issue. If he's still doing it for next weeks lesson I think I'm going to call the vet and make sure it's not an abscess or something up with his mouth. I didn't see anything when I checked, and adjusted the bridle, so we'll see.

Despite how pathetic my leg yields were Sunday, I did have some good moments. Pete's extended trot across the diagonal is coming along nicely, so that's a positive.

At least now I know what to work on when I'm out there! I hate riding around without a real plan.

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