Since I’ve been gone so much this summer (did raise a TON of money for my nonprofit though, yay #freedom!), I have about 4 makeup lessons to do. I ended up doing 2 of them this week + a regular lesson, which means that I basically did the same course over and over and over again, and it was actually just what I needed.
Here was the first course:
Basically circle, S turn, then circle again. Goal was to try to get the same amount of strides in between each segment, which was somewhere between a 3 and a 4 depending on the shape of your turn.
And course 2:
S turn to broken line with 3 strides, right turn to single vertical (eventually oxer) then left turn to another single.
Lesson 1: I felt ALL over the place, like where did my leg/eyes/saddle go? It was actually quite funny and pathetic at the same time. Turns out those squats and core workouts were meh by the time I needed them. There’s certainly something to be said for time in the saddle. By the end of this though, I was able to mirror it with 4 strides in between each, putting Gracie’s feet where I wanted them.
Lesson 2: We did basically an entire warm up with no stirrups, so I felt flimsy over everything, but in reality, it wasn’t that bad. We did have trouble with the three stride, as my brain was saying “we should do four, you have a small horse, and adding is easier,” but it never seemed to work out right. We eventually figured out we had to hit the gas to get a 3 stride, which of course flattens Gracie’s jump, but it was the best we could do there given the set up. I will say though, I did feel like I was overall more timid about using my leg with spurs, probably because I hadn’t used it in so long that I didn’t trust myself not to ding Gracie with a spur, which leads me to the next day.
Lesson 3: Fuck the spurs. I took them off, wanted to refocus my efforts on using my whole leg without repercussions should I make a wrong move, and it was the right decision. Everything felt a bit easier, smoother, and I felt more “with” Gracie: more centered, more leg, more stable. Still wasn’t perfect by any means, but it felt damn good to be back in the saddle. By the end of it, my instructor had me do the second course without stirrups (joke’s on her, I barely use them anyways #oopsbutyay), and it really did not hurt as bad as the warm up the day before. What a difference a day makes!
In short, feels good to be back, feels good to ride again, and starting in Q4, ride time will be my priority. More to come on that!