In most cases, the reason lies in the hand that bothers the horse. But as we know, there cannot be a good hand without a good seat, which enables the rider to use the legs efficiently. This again is a prerequisite for good contact between rider and horse.-Kurd Albrecht von ZiegnerI am learning a lot as I am "teaching." It's amazing how much you can pick up by watching someone else do the wrong and the right things either well or poorly. The horses here are very hard to get forward and in front of the leg. It really takes a strong and confident rider. On certain horse/rider combos I feel like I spend at least a quarter of my time just waiting for the rider to get the horse into some kind of trot or at least more than a zombie walk.
This has led to me doing a little extra riding the past week and a half. Makoto was so bad through my last couple of lessons that I finally got on him after one lesson and spent a good 20 minutes just making him move, bend and do lots and lots of transitions. He pretty much had no bend to the left at all when we started. I tell my students it isn't anything I'm really doing differently it is my body language. I am confident and my body language translates to the horses and therefor when I tell them to move they (mostly) move. It's something that just takes time to develop I'm realizing and I do keep telling my students that if they can master the horses here they will do very well when they get back to the states.
|Makoto is exceptional at reading body language.|
I've also been getting to ride Mocha a little more than usual as well. I've done three days of no-stirrup work and it is starting to feel a little more natural. I had an ah ha moment the last time I rode him. It may sound kind of no duh but I realized my thighs muscles are more for keeping myself in balance than for "holding onto" my horse. When I let my thighs relax a little bit and concentrate more on my balance I am able to ride without stirrups much longer without the huge muscle failure I was getting.
I've also been making myself do some riding with no-reins, specifically some jumping without the reins. It's amazing how difficult that is! The first couple of times my body had no idea what to do with itself. But today I was able to go over a crossrail to a vertical not only without my reins but with my arms out to my sides. Hopefully this will lead to me having a more independent seat/hand!
Also the horses got to go out ALL day on Saturday. The guy who rides Sky all the time appears to have given up the draw reins and in all things just seem to really be improving out at the barn. I know the horses will be so so so much happier if they get more turn out and Sky's life will be so so so much better without those d@*^ draw reins!!
And as if that weren't enough. I also found out that we should be leaving here a full two weeks earlier than we expected. I mean I know it is only two weeks but I was still doing a happy dance when I found out!
|Just imagine the dance I'll be doing when we finally get to the states!|