A small hurdle, hurdled.

Tonight I flat out felt like hell in the saddle.  I’ve been working out, trying to un-do the fitness collapse my two weeks off and a bout of the flu brought.  Today, despite the fact I had a lesson, I did an awful cardio-step workout that kills my legs. Tonight was no exception.  My muscles were tired and sore.

I mounted up and we got to work – but immediately, Christy spotted something weird.  I was curling my leg back, towards Maddie’s flank, as we trotted around in two point, warming up.  She alerted me to the problem, and I tried to fix it, but it wasn’t happening.  I started to post, and that didn’t help either.

We dropped to a walk, and I kicked free of the stirrups and let my legs hang a minute, then started rotating my ankles and stretching.  Ahh.  That felt good.  After a few minutes, I put my feet back in the stirrups, and Christy gave her seal of approval.  Off we went again.

For about 15 seconds.

Clearly, things weren’t working for me tonight.  I started curling my leg again, and things still felt awful.  I dropped the stirrups again.

And then, because one of my resolutions is to just shut up and ride, I said to Christy, “Hey, I want to try something.”  I nudged Mads into a trot.  While I was too busy staying focused on the horse, I think I did hear Christy’s jaw audibly drop and hit the ground.  She’s been trying to get me to drop the stirrups for, oh, months …. maybe even years.  Mads has a trot I can ride without stirrups.   I never contemplated dropping the stirrups on Jag, who had a trot that felt like a pogo stick, it was so bouncy.

Granted, we weren’t doing much of a trot.  But we did four or five little shuffle-y circles around Christy, and called it a night.

I really want to ride more and better without stirrups.  It’s the only way to develop a truly independent seat.   And it’s sound practice and makes one a safer rider.  In particular, I’d like to be able to drop and pick up my stirrups – or adjust them when they slip – with ease.   Tonight was the first step.

So it was kind of a stupid ride tonight, but in the end, I had an important win.

Tomorrow we’ll give another lesson a shot. I’m going to do some yoga and pilates, and gobble a couple Advil before heading to the barn.  Hopefully I’ll put things together tomorrow night!


About Sarah Skerik
Sarah Skerik is an experienced digital business executive and strategist with a long track record of success in team leadership, employee development, marketing and business development.

4 Responses to A small hurdle, hurdled.

  1. dressage rider says:

    I think I may know the solution to your problem. Maybe. Try turning your heels out and keep reminding yourself ‘heels out’, ‘further out’. By turning your heels out your whole leg will rotate inward from the hip. You’ll feel very secure in this position and your leg shouldn’t curl. It’s done wonders for me and I’m no longer going into a fetal position. At least while riding 😉

    • Sarah Skerik says:

      Good suggestion, DR. I do point my toes inward when warming up, and that does help create that rotation, and loosen up my hip flexors. I’m *reallly* hoping that last night’s awful leg was an anomaly, due entirely to the effects of my overzealous workout! 🙂

      • dressage rider says:

        Ah, but there’s a difference between ‘heels out’ and ‘toes in’. I was taught ‘toes in’ but that only effects a change in your leg from the ankle. Turning your ‘heels out’ will truly rotate your entire leg inward. Just try it although you’re probably right about the workout.

  2. Pingback: Love Rules. « Collecting Thoroughbreds

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