April 5, 2011
My friend, Sarah, came over again today. I think we had a really good lesson. I think my posting improved somewhat, though there were plenty of times when I felt I was just a little out of sync. I can still see that my elbows need to be bent more as well as how I am still collapsing my upper body. Don’t worry, I will work on these things. My friend had me work at keeping my hips open. Feel free to comment on that. I wasn’t sure if it was a good thing, but it felt better.
Also, thanks to Julie who gave the example of moving my hands up and down while posting. I did this both at the trot and a little at the canter and I think it really helped.
In the video, you will see sometimes where it is better and other times where it is worse. I am still trying to do all these things at once. Sometimes my elbows are terrible and then you will see sometimes my legs are way too far forward. But my question is, am I still improving?
Today Jackson felt pretty good and I think that helped him be much more forward than before. Cantering to the left still doesn’t feel that comfortable. Sure, I am super willing to believe it is me.
Last week, I used my legs a lot more in the canter and tried to use my body to draw him upwards and when I did that, I got a lot more engagement. Going to the left, I feel almost that Jackson is bent too much or that I just have a harder time getting him to “lift” up. It is hard to describe, except that it feels different than going to the right.
Oh, the other thing we changed is that I switched to riding in the other saddle that Polly loaned me (Thank you, Polly!). The County saddle was smaller than the other one and the knee rolls will help me remember to keep my legs farther back.
I worked with Jackson, asking him to go a little rounder by lifting the reins up, usually with the inside rein a little higher (Thanks, Karen). I don’t know how much it helped today, but I will keep trying. I felt he had made progress by the end of the day.
We also did a little bit of jumping in preparation for the competition coming up in a week and a half. My two-point still needs a bit of work, but what a difference jumping in an English saddle versus a western saddle. No wonder I was terrified. I felt so much more secure jumping more correctly.
Also, one thing that was a big breakthrough was that I was able to stand up in the saddle. Before when I would try to stand up, my legs were too far forward for me to stay up. I was able to today!