August 2, 2012 Leave a comment
While the new seatbones and leg position changes aren’t yet habit (I repeat the mantra “Lengthen lengthen,” going into each bend and corner) it’s already helping improve my position, because my core in more engaged. Two days on from the discoveries about my issues and the subsequent fixes, my seat at the canter has improved – I’m sitting much straighter. I’d still like to see myself elevate my ribcage more, and my hands are creeping back into my lap (I don’t have a straight line from elbows to hands to bit) but I can see improvement from earlier this week, which I’ll take.
I have to do a lot more work at the canter – and trot/canter transitions – but we’re heading in the right direction.
Overall, my balance and contact is improving day by day, as well. Derby and I are going around much more consistently, and I’m mixing in bits of stretchy trot here and there to test my contact (and work on that movement too, of course.)
Better core engagement is also helping in the w/t and t/w transitions. While my downwards are getting pretty reliable, keeping Derby round and on the bit in the upwards can still be spotty.
I’m up early this morning watching the first day of team dressage at the Olympics, and hope I have enough gas in the tank for a good ride tonight. I petered out after about 40 minutes – which included a long warm up. From a cardio standpoint I’m doing fine, but I’m still struggling with muscle endurance. I’m paying attention to my diet (plenty of protein, and healthy carbs before I ride) but suspect that I’m just in need of more wet saddle pads. The problem is most evident after canter work, which tells me something.
Olympics watching note:
If you would prefer to watch dressage with some good commentary, or if you can’t access NBC’s live streams on their web site, here’s how you can watch the rest of the Olympics by accessing the BBC’s live feed: Go to VPNAuthority.com and spend $7.50 for one month of VPN access. This will allow you to get around the fact that the BBC Olympic streaming is blocked for the US. Follow set up instructions and be sure to select a European server instead of a US server. The set up is very easy. Just follow the instructions. Once connected to the net via VPN Authority, you can go straight to the BBC.co.uk site, where you can access their Olympic stream.