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Lesson Notes: Outside Flexion

I had a lesson this afternoon with the barn owner / main trainer, who I rarely ride with for lots of reasons – most of them schedule. But I’d been hoping to get a time with her before she heads to Florida and today worked out!

I clipped Tris just a little bit before the lesson, since he is fully fuzzy and it was 75 this afternoon, and crossed my fingers that it would not set him off. It did not! And he was hot and blowing enough that I was glad I did it.

Overall, I was really happy with how it went. Some things went well, some things I was able to fix, some things I can take away and chew on. Brief notes:

– we worked on counterflexion on the long sides as a way to keep him straight through his shoulders; flex a smidge to the outside and think of the inside rein as the rounding rein, then drive him forward through that momentary channel. Keep repeating that in tiny increments and think of building power and push through like climbing up a staircase, a little bit at a time.

– my posting mechanic is screwy lately. I am lagging a hair behind him, which is making me fall too far back in the saddle, putting me out of sync with him and catching him in the mouth just the tiniest bit – but enough to back him off when my leg his telling him to go

– we worked on sitting trot for a while without stirrups, which has become a very good way for me to access his hind legs and bring them up for better collection. He is verrrrrry heavy but we integrated some of the counterflexion from earlier and he started to get softer

– need to work on keeping my hands forward. Some more. Always. Sigh.

I have been slacking on the gym and can feel the difference in my posting mechanic especially, but I am in an ugly mental place about the gym. I want badly to go back, but doing so means a very early morning wake up call (the only time that fits my schedule) and worrying about COVID exposure. So…I have been working hard to integrate more exercise in all areas of my life, but it’s not enough. In short, stupid COVID.

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