What a fun day!!!
It was a little chilly this morning but it warmed up to a nice 55 plus degrees by late afternoon. I hauled both boys to Morning Run for a lesson with Beth. Well, Danny for a lesson, Fleck to hack with Cindy after. I was running a little behind so Dan didn't get to hack before hand, but... oh well. We had a great, but exhausting ride.
We worked on keeping my elbows heavy and keeping the connection. Then Beth wanted me to slow him down to encourage him to sit. She said that when he goes too fast, he just pulls himself along, using momentum. So we worked on slowing the rhythm but keeping him hopping along. I also had to ride the outside aids to keep him from drifting out, but not forget inside bend. And when we track left, he's straighter on his own. I have to focus on the bend. When we track right.. he wants to overbend, so I need to really focus on straightness.
We did some transitions and Beth tweaked my sitting trot. She said that I was too deep in my seat and needed to sit softer. Almost like a 3 point when jumping. So... instead of sitting so deep, I thought about sitting but almost bouncing more, and lifting my pelvic floor. Apparently it worked. We then focused on keeping my elbows heavy during the up and down transitions and using my soft seat to sit.
Then we went to the canter. Sigh... I can't get the left lead again. It's like he goes to pick it up, but then somehow I've messed him up, so he ends up on the right lead. After two tries or so, he realizes I'm an idiot and just picks up the left lead. Out of pity. Argh... at least that's how it seems. The right lead I can coordinate my aids, but.. I can't quite get it going to the left. Oh well. So then we were cantering and Beth had me work on my core. She said to use my transverse abdominal muscles... my TA's... and use my core... and pull my belly button to my spine, but also to shove it out in front of my "girls". I also worked on sitting on my pants pockets. And... I told Beth that I was able to get my top half and my seat right, but then I felt like my knees were creeping up and pinching. I mentioned that Cindy was talking about posting the trot without stirrups and.. next thing I knew, Beth told me to drop my stirrups. Ha ha... I really should know better by now. ;)
So... it was helpful though. And awful. I'm really really out of shape! But really kind of helpful. It didn't seem like it at first. At first I just felt like my legs were flopping all over the place and useless, but... my seat was good. And then it made it clear that without my leg, Danny doesn't keep the pace. But it's hard to squeeze my legs appropriately. I want to slide them back and/or turn out my toe. But I got the hang of it a little bit. I need to squeeze with my lower calf and ultimately.. it's hard to do because Dan is so narrow, but... I sort of got it. And I was able to keep my leg longer and not let it slide up so much. After we did that I got my stirrups back and... we actually got some really nice canter. It did help a lot to get that feel. And Danny felt really nice. And at some point, his back got nice and lofty and bouncy! He got that buoyant trot that almost makes you want to shut him down because it's almost too big to ride. But I didn't! I enjoyed it. :)
Yay! We did a quick little walk around the parking lot to cool off. I didn't quite have enough time to take him for a hack and we were both pretty tired.