And Flick

It’s Thursday again and so we all know what day that is for me now. Riding lesson day. And this morning I was more than grateful for an indoor arena. The wind was blustery and in previous times in the outdoor school, I’d struggle with wind and riding and everything else. But today, thankfully, as I mounted Ethan, we headed straight indoors and prepared for a interesting lesson.

First of all, I asked to borrow a crop as the one I have currently is a small ended and my RI prefers, as do I, the wide ended crop. My previous one broke sadly and so I need to order a new one. She said, today we would use a schooling whip as we were doing a flat lesson.

I took the long whip in my hand, and felt down the length of it. They are designed to allow the rider never to take their hands off the reins and therefore a good tool when doing a flat lesson. This would be again another interesting find on switching hands when i needed to.

Off Ethan and I travelled in a walk and quickly my RI pointed out the whip indeed was in the wrong hand. I practiced moving it from hand to hand then we carried on.

Everything seems so natural with this little pony. And it was sure fun to be back on him today. It was a day of adjusting again and today we were to work on my rising trot.

Anyone who says rising trot is either super gifted or a liar. It was one of the hardest things i ever learnt to do. Well, until sitting trot but that’s another story.

Lifting yourself up out of a saddle as a horse is bouncing along is the most disconcerting thing to learn but what is so funny is the fact that even when you think you’ve got it and are riding it without even thinking much anymore, suddenly, you learn you’re actually not doing it quite right.

When in the school everything becomes finite and so precise. It’s little wonder then, that rising trot here should change to.

No longer do you rise out of your saddle and sit again, you actually have to flick forward and back to sit. It’s a funny change and a whole new way of thinking but that was today’s lesson. Flicking forward and then back to the saddle. And if this wasn’t the whole thing, I also was asked to sit a few strides before and after. I now know that sitting a few to transition up and down is the right way to then go into trot.

Sitting trot is hard. At least it is for me. Although, I had a few break throughs today and think something is definitely clicking there more now.

My RI was happy with how still all things are although my legs weren’t as long as in previous weeks so need to work on that again. It was a good solid lesson and I felt I’ve really got the flick and sit motion going on. Just now need to keep the legs long and the sit better.

we also decided that I will revisit a dressage test before Christmas again. So lots to practice in the next few weeks.

Ambitions for me have definitely changed in the past few months. Never, in my previous riding times did I consider competing but with work, I hope to do a few competitions. Fingers crossed. I’ve got a lot of work to do but I’m determined.

My RI and I also had a bit of a reflective chat and I asked how she thought I was progressing and she pointed out a few things that i don’t think I wanted to voice in my own head but she’s right. Previously, I was so hard on myself if I didn’t get something right but now, I accept what went wrong, and go back and try it again. My confidence in my own life and the confidence in me as a person has probably contributed to the way my riding brain has changed. But with the progression I’ve seen in myself and through the feedback from my RI in the past four months, it’s definitely working in my favour.

She’s also pleased with all I’m accomplishing. The shuffling messy rider I was when I first came back to the school is a far cry from the still one I seem to emulate each week now. Obviously, the time is right for me to concentrate on this and i’m so grateful to have the horses i’m privileged to ride and an awesome instructor who never doubts my abilities. Thanks for reading,

Marie

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