New relationship status (married) and fresh off a wonderfully relaxing honeymoon vacation. New barn with new level of horse care (daily turnouts for Spirit). Horse that has been getting training rides. This is the recipe for a fresh start in mine and Spirit’s journey in eventing.
Our lesson last night was intense. And not just because I hadn’t ridden in 3 weeks. I’ve been riding for 20 years – my muscles are already developed.
Or so I thought.
Only a few minutes into our lesson (I was still getting myself warmed up, to tell you the truth) Laurie was on me about releasing with my arms during the down transition from trot to walk. Apparently I do that without even realizing it. But she had a solution. It involved a belt.
|Stick figure = me. Horse = “letmecolor.com”|
Yep, she belted my arms to my torso, above the elbow. I could not release with my arms even if I wanted to. And boy, did it work! I had to use my torso (the “core”) and legs, and I sure was feeling it last night.
But it was worth it. We stayed uphill and balanced and all transitions up and down were much improved, and pretty soon my entire position was more secure. Belting = Balancing. This will stick with me, I’m sure of it.
Also, at my lesson on Elton back in March, Laurie corrected how I hold the reigns – in the palm, not along the fingers before the first knuckle. I worked on that a lot last night and I think it really helped with preventing reign sliding and having a more secure contact.
Spirit was a very willing partner for the entire ride. She was still very snuggly and lovey, which was nice. She got lots of carrots and an apple.
Meanwhile, here’s a few more photos of our new digs, Windwalker Ranch:
|View from main barn out at pipe corrals. Shaving storage on left, wash racks on right.|