Brief Lesson Report

SaddlePsych'D

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Friday Ride-Day! A super hot one too!

Did something different today because of the heat, and had my lesson out in the fields rather than in the school. I realised I've never really ridden out in an open space like that before. I've been before but that's always been more of a follow the leader situation along a route.

I worked on getting used to the different feel of riding on sloping ground and out of the school. It was a great confidence builder for me as I noticed my first thought being 'oh crap I am in a big open space on a horse!' but by the end I was feeling much more confident and had a bit of a canter. It was interesting working on steering without the usual school markers as reference points.

I also had lots of practice on jump position (light seat? - I might have got confused on the terminology). Not something I've done much of before but interesting trying to steer, keep the pace forwards, and balance at the same time. I had a crack at it in canter briefly and that definitely needs work!

Possibly some pics to follow. Happy Friday everyone! :)
 

SaddlePsych'D

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Quick pics, not worked out video on here yet (and not sure I'm brave enough!)

Not sure where my leg is going here...this was an early attempt and I think it did improve later in the lesson - maybe from the shorter stirrups and trying to find my balance? Trying to remember what my instructor said about it, feel like I should make notes right after I get off because otherwise it goes out of my mind!
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My helpful reminder not to rely on reins or horse's neck for balance!
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Rumtytum

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Fab pics😊! You mention writing notes, that’s what I do after every lesson. Excel spreadsheet - date, what arena, what we did, marks out of ten (I’m the judge 😂), a few lines of text and anything newsy that’s happened on the yard. It’s good to look back especially after not so great lessons and see how far I’ve come.
A landmark today, first lesson after six months in Greece, the motorbiking and yoga over there must have done something! Oh the joy of smelling horse💓. And ‘my’ boy remembered me... am very happy😀.
 

SaddlePsych'D

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Fab pics😊! You mention writing notes, that’s what I do after every lesson. Excel spreadsheet - date, what arena, what we did, marks out of ten (I’m the judge 😂), a few lines of text and anything newsy that’s happened on the yard. It’s good to look back especially after not so great lessons and see how far I’ve come.
A landmark today, first lesson after six months in Greece, the motorbiking and yoga over there must have done something! Oh the joy of smelling horse💓. And ‘my’ boy remembered me... am very happy😀.
Aw brilliant, glad you're finally back in the saddle!

That sounds like a good idea for the notes. I've got loads of little notebooks lying around unused so could finally put one of them to good use! Also thought I should write down questions too because they always seem to come to me on the drive home and I never remember them the next week to ask my instructor.

Looks like it's going to be hot again this Friday - I hope we're out in the field again so I can have another chance to work on what I did last week.
 

SaddlePsych'D

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It's that time of the week again - hurrah! Hope everyone is having a good week and has a weekend of fun and/or relaxation ahead :)

Back out in to the field for me again today because of the hot weather. It was like my instructor read my mind - I'd been watching back the videos from last week and noticed my reins were looking a bit long/loose (?) and her plan for today was to look at working in an outline (I think this is the terminology) which sort of answered my question before I'd even asked!

I very vaguely remember getting on to this when I was riding before but I think that was about as far as I'd got when I stopped and not sure I'd cracked it at that point. Certainly felt like a challenge to co-ordinate and keep track of everything, although it was also good to know that the horse I was riding doesn't always make it easy so not just me. It seemed like in 'asking' more, I had to learn a bit more about the horse's ways of saying 'no!'.

It also taught me that, although I think being described as a 'quiet' rider generally seems to be a good thing, perhaps I can be a bit too passive which is nice for the horse but might not always get them going well. I'm trying not to identify too much back into the 'nervous rider' label because there's something nice about coming back to riding which makes it feel a bit more of a choice of what kind of rider I want to be (e.g. effective) - not that I'm suddenly going to be fearless (my sense of self-preservation is still pretty high!).

No pics this week as my photographer was back to his day job, but hopefully will do some more soon - maybe some 'before and after' ones if I can make some progress on the work we did today.
 

Rumtytum

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Great report! I really enjoy your updates as I can relate so well to them! When I last rode back in February we’d finally got ‘my’ RS horse to start to relax fairly consistently, (not easy as he’s not a relaxed horse and I’m not an experienced rider). It used to be five steps relax, then up with the head and me trying to keep the contact... So we were really pleased with his development (ignore me, I was twisting and chatting to my instructor 😱). Six months later I’ve returned and it’s back to square one ☹️. I’m hoping with a few lessons he remembers, but it’s all very good practice for me! C11F5A89-8BAD-4772-BF7F-42508A1578CC.jpeg
 

SaddlePsych'D

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MAGIC BALLS!!!

Now that I have your attention...happy Friday which means of course another lesson for me (yay!) I went to a Franklin Method clinic yesterday but didn't do the exercises on the horse. Thankfully the RS have some of the kit so I was able to have a go with them in my lesson today. We used them to help with my seat (excellent butt massage) and it not only made the saddle feel much deeper when we took the props away but somewhere between me and the horse we managed to get proper contact! Things definitely clicked more in to place from when we started on this last week and I feel like I'm getting a better hang of 'leg to hand' (that and something about the magic balls which seemed to make the horse go "oh all right then").

Tomorrow off for my second meeting and ride of share horse (might have mentioned that I found a share horse more than a few times now!) so hoping that goes well and that the thunder storms stay away!
 

SaddlePsych'D

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Windy Friday! A good lesson and more positive end to my week (which also started better) then got really bad - like a poop sandwich. TGIF is all I can say!

I really want to get some up to date video and pics because I think I'm making good progress each time (I'm looking at you naughty lower leg!) I really enjoyed having a 'thinking' lesson to get me out of my worries and focused in the moment. Lots of fun with trot poles, circles, and transitions. Horse got a bit strong/enthusiastic towards the end so we ended up cantering over the trot poles less than gracefully but it was a fun exercise in trot-canter-trot on a straight line - or it would have been but we had to circle to get the trot back! Looking forward to next week when it's 'camp' at the riding school, but for grown ups, and with no camping :D
 

SaddlePsych'D

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A little late (and a while since my last lesson). Thought I'd be brave and share in the format of a video this time. (Gentle) comments welcome!

First bit is canter work (warming up) - I like watching these back because although not perfect I think each transition gets a little better, and when the canter breaks into trot each time I'm a little quicker to pick it back up again.

Then there's my figure 8's where I'm attempting to shorten the steps when we trot between the poles. I found this tricky to spot watching it back but I could feel a difference and my instructor fed back that she could see it so I think that's a good start!

The last little bit is attempting to lengthen in trot along the long side.


Next week I think we might attempt some jumping, so watch this space! :D
 
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