There’s always something
December 12, 2011 4 Comments
Christy and I had an interesting moment tonight, as I was working on developing and keeping Derby really engaged on a circle. She started talking about softening my aids, specifically my spur. Huh? I wasn’t spurring and said so.
Diplomatic silence from the middle of the ring, accompanied by a raised eyebrow.
Well, God love her for having a high enough opinion of my riding to assume that I am in full control of my extremities. Sorry to disappoint, Christy. I’m not. We stopped what we were doing and zeroed in on my leg. It turns out that I’ve been egging Derbs on with my spur almost constantly, when I was happily under the illusion that I was keeping my aids quiet and deliberate.
Looking at the videos, I cringe. I’ve got my spurs in Derby’s side more often than not. Sure, they’re rounded, but they still don’t feel good. The last thing I want to do is make him dead to my aids, and it sure looks like I’m on my way to desensitizing him to my spur. Yikes. I’m putting the Tom Thumbs back on. Developing a steady leg capable of delivering ONLY deliberate aids is now job one.
The posting-with-too-much-weight-on-my-foot problem still persists, and it’s contributing significantly to the unsteadiness in my lower leg. It’s not reasonable for me to think that this issue would have been fixed a scant week since I started tipping my butt up into two point, letting my stirrups rattle on my feet as I hold my weight with my thighs, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying.
My review of tonight’s ride did reveal a couple bright spots. For the most part, my posture has really improved. I’m keeping my hip angles open, and doing so is now coming more easily. I don’t need to constantly catch and correct myself, at least, not to the degree I did even a week ago. That’s a step forward.
In other good news, Derbs is over the muscle soreness. He was moving out well and evenly tonight. We cantered on a circle both ways, and the quality of the canter was good – he held the leads and was stepping under himself – so clearly, the soreness is abating. Canter transitions on the circle are at the top of our homework list – they’re great work for his hind end, and require me to get our collective ducks in a row – forward, contact, bend, sit sit ask – and give me the time I still need to organize everything.
So, overall, a good night. Problems persist, but that is no surprise. There will always be something to work on!