Thursday, 1 May 2008

Sitting Trot Boot Camp

I am continuing my "sitting trot boot camp". Although I can sit to most of the trots I don't do it nearly as often as I should and I feel it's my weakest riding element. This and tension. As Alison, a dressage judge, nicely commented during my training today: 'You are a 'head-case' ;)) This means I can do it but I am telling myself I am a rubbish rider and so am doing it in a tense manner.
Don't get me wrong. I am not looking for 'Oh, of course you are great' comments when I display a rather low opinion on my abilities. It's more to do with whom you are comparing yourself to.
I tend to have a very spread out scale when it comes to assessment of my abilities. If I say
someone is a good rider I mean good performance/producing rider. Looking at it in such a way, I
see myself as a very average equestrian with some feel which she can make use of if she relaxes ;)

I usually say that I am an average rider but an extraordinary teacher. You have to keep the balance, one cannot excel at everything ;))) That's my excuse anyway.

I am also a perfectionist. I like to iron things out until they look and feel as best as possible. Physical shortcomings are somewhat easier to overcome for me and although my backside feels the effects of riding three horses without stirrups today I do feel I am getting somewhere. The psychology, however fascinating, is another matter. I really have to do something with this mental block of mine. It probably has its roots in my competition days and a critique I got from my very ambitious parent at most shows. It was well wished but made me very nervous about 'doing badly'. This in turn causes me to tense which is the least thing you want when riding a tension prone horse!

Pic.: Arty today.

What's interesting, I never have this problem when schooling on my own. It's the presence of other people, trainers or just watchers which makes me very conscious of what I do.
This will need to be sorted if I want to use my abilities to their full extent.

Arty was fab to ride today. Whether it was due to my seat being deeper or my determination to ride every step correctly, we ended up with a very good contact on the outside rein. This is something Arty struggles to maintain but thanks to lots of long and low with changes of flexion, leg-yield and transitions he really felt like I had him there supported on my outside rein. I could properly loosen the inside rein without loosing the inside flexion, falling in or speeding up - fantastic session.

Days are weather patchy now. One moment there is a glorious sunshine burning my arms only for a massive downpour to arrive twenty minutes later soaking me completely. I gave a jumping lesson today and we jumped the practise fences barely seeing what was jumped due to the driving rain, then jumped the course in the sun strong enough to dry the clothes in minutes and we cooled down gazing at a substantial rainbow.
It's pretty and it's fresh but I was really glad to teach and ride indoors mostly ;)

I came back home today, had a bath in a 'muscle soak' browsing today's Horse & Hound, continued browsing while leisuring on bed and thought 'Ah, I would totally love my life as it is if only I could afford to pay something more than bills!'... One day...
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