Oh Right, I Forgot

You know how sometimes you forget things that you’ve known forever? Or not that you’ve forgotten, they’ve just kinda slipped by the wayside?

I have a couple things like that and I’m trying to focus more attention on them.

Most basic of all: moving forward at the walk. Francis almost always has a super forward swingy walk throughout our rides, so I never really think about it. But as it gets hotter and he gets lazier (yes, it is possible), he sees walking as a chance to amble around like a 32yo school pony. Actually, he walks SLOWER than the 32yo school pony. It’s embarrassing. I need to consciously notice what kind of walk we have and correct if needed to make sure it’s the walk we want.

Also super basic: allowing my horse to turn left. I’m so weirdly crooked in such strange ways that I’ve pretty much blocked my horse from being able to turn left. The only way I can convince my body to straighten out is to think “right hip forward and light.” Because it reeeeally wants to be tilted back and digging into Frankie’s back. So basically I’m thinking I’m telling him “move off my left leg and bend through your body!” but what my seat is telling him is “BEND TO THE RIGHT AND ALSO MOVE LEFT FOREVER.” When I consciously think to push my right hip forward, we suddenly get straighter through his body, smoother turns, better bend, more adjustability, and more lightness in my hand. So yeah. Gonna have to figure out how to just not be a total pretzel at all times so that my horse can do his job. I’M NOT AN AMBITURNER.

But like…literally.

Still basic: shoulders tall at the sitting trot. I think we’ve got a pretty decent sitting trot- Frankie usually stays pretty soft through his back so it’s fairly comfortable to go with his motion. But I’ve been so focused on my seat and core that I’ve neglected working on keeping my upper body tall. I know I’m capable of putting those pieces together, it’s just a matter of actually doing the thing. We don’t do flat classes or anything so this isn’t a competition goal, just a polish and precision goal.

It’s happened before, I’m like 70% sure it can happen again.

Less basic: Solidifying my position over fences. In theory, I’m fantastic at this. My trainer and I joke that in theory, I’m an Olympic rider. I know what I should be doing, and I’m pretty good at diagnosing what I’ve done wrong and how I can fix it. It’s just a matter of….doing those things. And doing those things the first time so I don’t have to diagnose and go back and fix and go through that whole process. For example, my leg isn’t staying where I want it and I’d like to work more on an automatic following release. These are tools I know I have in my toolbox, and I need to be more conscious of honing them and actively using them. My position always looks 20x more solid when shit hits the fan- aka massive chip or leaving a stride out- than it does when things are going well. I want it to consistently be solid.


Also less basic: Insisting on adjustability. Frankie CAN and HAS given me powerful strides ranging from 8′ to 18′. The adjustability is there to use if I ask for it. I need to stop settling into a comfortable canter and maintaining that for the whole course- everything comes up so much more smoothly and powerfully when I actively rate back and forth. Collect through the turn, power up to the single, sit  back in the line, push through the combo, etc. There is no magic stride length to get the job done and I need to use the appropriate stride to each question on course.

I can’t be the only one! What habits do you need to remind yourself of? What’s  so basic that you’ve neglected it and now have to go back and fix?

6 thoughts on “Oh Right, I Forgot

  1. the_everything_pony 07/25/2017 / 9:21 am

    Ugh my chicken wing elbows. Those suckers are bad lol. Somehow when I go to sit Amber’s canter, like hunter or dressage or hell even western, my body thinks that if my elbows pump out from my body like chicken wings I’ll magically be able to sit better. It’s just…no lol. Also just realized I throw my weight to the right, too! Working on left hip left hip left hip haha. But I think you and Frankie look great!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Stacie Seidman 07/25/2017 / 9:50 am

    Auto release. I just don’t use it. I know HOW to use it. I have one. I’m capable and strong enough. But I just don’t.


  3. Karen M 07/25/2017 / 10:28 am

    One day I will remember while actually on a horse that pulling is really, really bad and dumb and does not work.


  4. Karley 07/25/2017 / 4:25 pm

    I am the queen of slouching… if only my shoulders would get with it!!!

    I have many flaws but this one is freaking haunting to me!!!


  5. HunkyHanoverian 07/27/2017 / 1:52 pm

    So much this. In an attempt to be “soft” I often let my upper body relax and curve my upper back (I call it the trainer look). I have to actively reminder myself to stay tall and keep my shoulder back, which feels so friggin basic it’s almost embarrassing to say I have to think about such things! Also basic stuff like straightness, inside leg to outside rein, yada yadaaaa!


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