Riding Lesson

February 18, 2011

I had a riding lesson today. Yes, a riding lesson.

Not only was it my first lesson since September or so, but it was also my first time riding in a cutback saddle since June. It was crazy!

This lesson was not on the adored Fred. My trainer, Charlene, thought it would be better for me to take a few lessons on other horses so I could work on myself, rather than worrying about ‘what Fred is going to do’. So, when I got there today, she informed me that I would be riding Red. No, he is not missing the F, his name is Red. He is a nineteen year old NSH gelding owned by a young girl at my barn. He is an angel for her and in the lesson program. He has some oomph but at the same time, knows his job. So, he’s enough horse for me to get that uncomfortable feeling at times, but not so much that I am going to be like “OHMYGOSHHE’SGOINGTOBOLT!”.

So, I brushed him off and then we got him tacked up. Charlene brought out a cutback saddle. I questioned her sanity, but she said it was the only saddle that really fit him– that it’s hard to find a close contact saddle to fit him. She also said, hey, it will help us work on your position even more. Boy, was she right! lol.

I had a great lesson. We started off by me riding each direction just trotting to get used to him. He’s got a lot more pep than Fred. Then, Charlene made me stretch my legs as far behind me as  I could and forced me to trot around (posting) like that. It was freaky. Afterwards, we worked on my leg position. My leg position. My leg position. A LOT. I learned that my leg position is a lot easier to hold in a cut back and I had a lot less trouble than I have in my A/P saddle. I found out that my A/P saddle doesn’t fit me properly. The seat is too deep and the cantle is too high which is why it throws me forward. Charlene said it also makes it hard to really sit in the saddle. Hence, why I used to have a pretty decent canter seat and now I flop around in the saddle. Hence, why I can’t keep my legs at all in place and they just slide everywhere. Thus, why I am unbalanced and when Fred goes to ‘freak out’, I can’t sit back in the saddle and use my seat to calm him down. Plus, it’s really slippery still. I have really bad saddle luck. So, I am on a saddle search. Mine will be on consignment for anybody who is interested. It is a very nice saddle, just not right for me. I’m sad because it’s really pretty and I’m trying to save money; but if I find a good deal, then I will have to take that deal and wait for the money from my saddles to sell. (My cutback is also on consignment).

So, needless to say, my leg position was pretty nice for the first time ever. I also wasn’t flopping around in the saddle like a sack of potatoes. I also got to canter Red once. It was different. Very lofty. I had him a little bit crooked which caused him to cut corners so I felt like he was going to fall over, but apparently it felt worse than it looked. My trainer said it was a bit fast but overall looked good and that I had him collected and going pretty well. Then we worked on switching from an easy, collected gait to an extended. I know how, but my way is a lot sloppier than just controlling my posting and all.  That started off being quite difficult but I began to get the hang of it. It will be easier when my legs are stronger and I can control my posting a bit easier. But, I was happy with my lesson and really proud. I felt accomplished. I haven’t felt like that in a while. Now, I will have more lessons but also will be able to work on the leg position thing on my own time, because I’m finally understanding what to do.

Fred has a schooling show this weekend. I am not riding. My trainer is taking him in 1-2 classes and then after she is done, I may jump on and walk around, watch some classes, etc. We want him to be less nervy at shows, so a confident rider showing him will help. Then, me being on him but calm will make a difference. Hopefully, he will start associating different locations/shows with me as not a scary place. I kind of screwed that up. The only place I can show him comfortably right now is Randolph Fairgrounds. Everywhere else I get frazzled and nervous. So, I think that will help a lot. He just needs to begin to see me calm at shows rather than fussy and freaked out.

That’s all for now, folks. I had a good day. I am going to sleep soon. xoxo.

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