Monday, June 8, 2009

Second Lesson with Christine

My second lesson with Christine was a longe lesson on Will, her 16 hand bay appendix. We mainly worked on the sitting trot and repeated some of our work on downward transitions using just your seat. Near the end, we also did a tiny bit of canter. I still need a lot of work on cantering before I'm ready to do it off of the longe line.

She also worked on correcting my basic form on the horse. She kept telling me to look up. Keep my head up. I have a tendency to stare at my horse's ears as if the instructions were written there. It's a fairly common problem. But I really need to keep my head up to keep everything in balanced alignment over my stirrups. Your head is pretty heavy and if it's not kept in proper balance over your neck and body, it can pull the rest of your body off balance. Another thing she told me is that I need to wrap my legs lightly around the horse, like a wet towel would drape around him, rather than letting my legs just hang away from his body. And, of course, there were the occasional statements to,"keep your heels down."

She also talked about how the horse I was riding would let his outside shoulder fall out when we were going counter clockwise and told me to press a little with my outside leg and turn my head and shoulders towards the inside more. I did what she said, and she said,"there, see, he's got it right now" or something like that. But honestly, I couldn't tell any difference. I should have asked her to explain what falling out was and how exactly I fixed it, but I was sort of embarrassed to do so.

Later, when I was talking with JJ about the lesson, she explained what falling out was and that helped me to understand how what I did fixed the problem. Falling out (sometimes called popping out) is basically when the horse's head and neck are turning with the rein, but his body is still going straight. It's probably a bit more complicated than that, but that's how I understood it. And by using your outside leg and turning your head and shoulders in the direction you want his body to turn, you make his body flex in the direction that you're turning rather than remaining straight. JJ also mentioned keeping a firm outside rein, which Christine didn't talk about. Probably because it was a longe lesson and I wasn't really using the reins.

Overall, I believe the lesson went well. I think I made some improvement on my sitting trot and downward transitions. I got at least a taste of the canter. I worked on my basic form, and I was prompted to learn what "falling out" means. I'm really glad that I found Christine (and that I have JJ as a friend), and I'm looking forward to my next lesson.

No comments:

Post a Comment