I’ve signed up for a lesson next Monday – trainer is coming back from Florida for a little while and we’re doing a sort of clinic. So I threw my hat into the ring, which means that after a week and a half off from death flu, I had to get back into the saddle with a vengeance and tune him up so we could get through a lesson.
The good news: I was able to breathe, we picked up where we left off, and I was pleased with both his willingness to work with me and his fitness. (inasmuch as you can tell these things from a 35 minute light dressage school)
The bad news: I put my stirrups back on the saddle because I figured I would not get the most I could out of the lesson if I was riding without stirrups. My posting was…not great, after 6 weeks out of practice.
On the other, other hand, I did get a re-confirmation of something I’ve been working hard on, which is keeping my hands still while posting.
It seems stupid to even report this as a thing I’m working on. At a certain point in your riding education, you are supposed to have an independent seat. And you keep your hands still. Well, I definitely have an independent seat, but I have always struggled with true fluidity in my elbows.
One of the first things that R. called me on about my riding was that when I posted, I didn’t truly flex my elbows, and as a result my hands bobbed a little bit as I posted. She worked hard on me to really understand that, and like magic, when I truly flexed my elbows and my hands stayed still and Tristan got instantly more secure in the bridle.
I’ve ridden with a lot of trainers, and not a single one of them has ever said anything about my hands. Clinicians get a pass, but not my regular trainers.
So I worked on my elbows a lot while re-learning posting, in anticipation of R. calling me on them again next Monday. Which meant we also worked on keeping Tristan steady in contact, which was a much-needed thing (as always).
I’ll keep him on a fairly busy schedule this week, then update his clip and do a light ride on Sunday, and we’ll see how Monday goes!