More tools and tactics
January 30, 2015 2 Comments
For the last week, I’ve been assiduously working on allowing my leg to drape around the horse, relaxing at the hip and stretching down through the ball of my foot. This has really helped correct my tendency to curl my feet in, resting my weight primarily on my pinky toes. It’s also a lot more comfortable!
We worked hard over the weekend and Derby was pretty sluggish and slow to get going last night, despite the fact that it was pretty chilly in the arena last night (and often, nippy air = sassy pony.)
As we worked through our warm up, Christy had me do a new exercise, asking me to throw in a stride of leg yield – first right, then left, then right – down the long sides. By asking me to leg yield, she was also specifically telling me to ride from my seat and leg, and leave the horse’s face out of the equation.
This was a revelation, because I started to think more about where and how the resistance was happening – whether it was on one side, or whether Derby was pulling from the center, from the underside of his neck. Christy had me apply the leg that was opposite the resistance and within short order I had a much more compliant and soft horse. (Related reading: Christy’s discussion of leg yields.)
As Derby started to move more up and out, Christy also noticed that I was impeding his ability to do so by carrying my hands low, and in so doing, I was inadvertently dumping him on his forehand. She had me pay attention to moving my hands up, to accommodate Derby’s elevated posture. Here’s a good snippet of her coaching us: