Friday, April 12, 2013

Little Things

I had a lovely lesson. We never made it beyond trot. I explained what I was struggling with: consistent connection, connection at the walk, transitions… and this feeling like the Psycho Mare breaks in half under my seat when we come down to the walk and her entire back end just gets left behind…

As a result, our focus was “outside rein connection.” She asks me, “It has been explained to you that the outside rein is where your connection is, right?” Well, not exactly. I’ve read it in a bunch of different places. I’ve never had anyone to actually explain to me and show me what is actually **feels** like. She replies, “That’s very sad. In that case, you are doing it remarkably well!” It turns out that I am very tuned in and can feel it when she does it right. I used to get some of the same feeling from the Old Man, so I must have been doing something right. We even got to a point where we changed directions without completely losing the connection!

It always feels like the plateaus go on forever then lots of areas will click into place all at once. The little mare got bigger right underneath me! I trusted her to listen to my leg. Heck, I trusted her at all! We tried to stretch her neck longer… CB told me to give her an inch of rein… She took a foot. We tried again. Give her an inch… She took 4 inches! CB asked me why I gave her so much... I tried to explain that I don’t actually know what 1 inch feels like in my rein and to top it all off, I was riding in new gloves. I think she decided to let it slide… No pun intended.

It turns out that I’ve developed this unconscious habit of crossing my rein in an attempt to keep the inside shoulder from dropping. I think it got worse after my injury as a way to compensate for my weak core and uncooperative leg. This undermines my attempt to acquire outside rein connection. I’m really looking forward to getting that habit straightened out!

The most exhilarating part of all is finding that glimmer of trust…

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