Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Faith restored, I think.

So. We had a lesson on Saturday, and I can't even begin to express how glad I was for it. I didn't ride well, but I learned a lot -- and I have some new things to work on that will help me a lot. I was incredibly grateful for MT's help, not only in riding Rev, but for all the various corrections he gave me. At one point in the lesson, I was really having a crisis of confidence -- this seems to happen to me a lot -- but he pretty much ignored my comment to that effect and we carried on. :) Exactly the best response.

One of the corrections he offered was about leg position and how I was using my spur. I'd been borrowing the working student's spurs, which are about 3/8 of an inch long, maybe 1/2 inch, and I wasn't at all feeling like I was getting any effect from them while I rode. So I ended up with too much work with my leg again, and too much use of not enough spur. I really needed the reminder, and I was immensely grateful for the loan of his own spurs last night. (My boyfriend has said he'd get me my own pair of 1" spurs for Easter -- what a keeper! :) We tried to pick some up last night, but no dice at the FLTS.)

And the other thing he was working on and coaching me through was lengthening and shortening within a gait -- he worked trot and canter, I worked just trot. I didn't do so well, but I get the premise, and I know what it ought to be like/what it's for/why I ought to do it, so I can practice on my own. We worked over some trot poles that were just a tad long for her, to get her to really stretch, and of course shortening and lengthening are important for that.

So last night when I rode, I worked a lot on shortening and lengthening. I was 100% better than I was in the lesson, but I would say it was about 35-40% of where I need to be. I even worked on shortening the canter a bit, and it went reasonably well. I wasn't really focusing on the canter, but at least I did a little. I was much happier with last night's ride than I was with last week's rides, so ... I think I am past the mini-crisis.

Plus, the Test of Choice night has been moved to Friday, so I feel like I've gotten a reprieve, time to keep practicing and recover any ground I'd lost last week. Whew! Now if I can just find a caller for Training 1 ... :)

ALSO -- my new helmet cover came in! Squee! It's bright blue and white and altogether adorable. I can't wait to use it. I'll have pictures soon, I'm sure, since my boyfriend is a wonderful photographer. (I might also have pictures of last night's ride, too, depending on how they came out. Happy!)

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