Back seat driving

Recently my riding ability has rocketed, with a mare full of tantrums I’m getting to the point where I can handle almost anything a horse throws at me. But I never realised how lazy I had gotten. And how much of the basics I’d forgotten.

After an abismal performance on my part at the dressage this weekend I asked my boss for a tidy up lesson. I had gotten sloppy, wiggly and tense. 

I ride zimmy, a full livery at work, at least four times a week. She is had work and extremely bendy, which I know is most riders dream, but she is like an eel and loves to use it the her advantage. Getting an outline on Zimmy recently has been near on impossible for me.

 Somewhere in practising my tests I’d forgetten to use my legs not just for going forward. And my lesson today made me realise that my laziness had made me a parasite. 

But at least I admit it, it is a hard to admit because horses are delicate and riding them harshly is cruel but it happens and no long term damage is caused if it’s sorted quickly. We all pick up bad habits and good horsemen/horsewomen will take comments as an opportunity to grow and develop as a rider. 

For me my problem is coordinating my legs and hands, I can’t push a horse into the hand whilst making little tweaks in the mouth and vise versa it has to be one or the other. My boss told me to tap left, right, left, right, left with my leg as I give and take left, right, left, right, left with the reins. It sounds so simple and god knows what I was trying to do before, but doing two things with different body parts on differnet sides of the body at different times is near on impossible. My hands on circles are also appalling I try to give and take with both reins and Zimmy just sticks her shoulder out and he neck becomes rigid. To stop this, my boss said to block her with the outside rein and give and take with the inside to push her straight along with constant tap tap taps of the leg to keep her bending nicely. AGAIN, ITS SO DAMN SIMPLE. This whole time I’d just been forcing her into a false hollow outline which she just fell out of just as quickly as I pulled her into it. 

As I say we all pick up habits and we all need them tidied up from time to time. I hadnt had a flatwork lesson for a long time before today so I knew I was going to be torn to shreds. 

But hey, everyday is a school day and I feel so much better for it! 

Catch you laters,

Eloise💕