Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lesson Day: Sunny, and a Bug. On the Windshield. In January. 'Nuf said.

My legs feel like jello.  

Eric watched without commenting much as I warmed Sunny up.  I used the full arena, asking him to collect, bend deep into the corners, shoulder-in and then haunches-in down the long sides, reverse and the same routine with the addition of a spiral in/out on one end.  Sunny was in fine form, ears flopping, chewing away.  I think he likes the warm weather, too. 

Once we we'd showed off some at the walk, earning ourselves a couple of compliments, it was up to posting trot and serpentines.  So much to think about - leg position, proper bend, switch diagonals... Oi! 

A break to stretch and breath, and then half pass, first left (very, very good!) and right... not so good, but it's his stiffer direction, so putting a few proper steps together in a row was an improvement, even if we couldn't get our act together for the whole way across.

From there it was back on the rail, collect, bend, and cue to canter - my nemesis. Sunny stepped off nicely, but I just wasn't able get my lower leg to stay where it should. And I have an equally tough time keeping my shoulders up and square and my back soft like I'm supposed to be doing.  But Sunny's upward transitions are continuing to improve - and using the whole arena it was much easier to keep him from breaking. 

Sunny is apparently doing so well that tonight 
it was my turn to be tortured into better form. 

Lucky me, I got to do walk, trot, canter in two-point.  At one point with both arms stuck straight out to the side like a toddler playing airplane.  Which worked, as it was supposed to, to make me balance.  But it sure wasn't pretty.

Since I had no intention of dragging on Sunny's mouth while I floundered, he basically pattered around the ring in sort of randomly circular pattern with a huge loop in his reins.  And bless him, he didn't take the opportunity to shy at any of the numerous things he could have. But I swear he was snickering.  At least until he figured out that he was going to have to keep going until I managed to find my balance.

It's been a while - years - since I did anything resembling a two-point.  And based on the position that Eric had me working on attaining tonight, I have a sneaking suspicion I've probably never actually done it properly anyway.  I'm still not anywhere near consistent, but at least I have a better idea of how it's supposed to work.  Apparently - and this just kills me - it's not supposed to be hard.  Sigh.  I'll believe that when I can do it without my legs wanting to fall off.

So aside from making Sunny laugh at me, keeping me doing two-point until my legs were whimpering was intended to improve a) my lower leg position,  and b) my upper body/shoulder position, which will in turn help Sunny.  Eric says it was working.  I did feel more secure in the saddle by the time we finished, but since my homework for next week is more two-point (Sunny's is more bend, collect-soften, release and stretch), I'm hoping it gets much better - or at least easier.  Quick!

On a completely different note, Eric reports Amyra is doing well.  I checked in on her as I've been doing after each lesson.  She was munching away at her evening hay, but left her meal to come get some attention.  Her stall is roomy, and the divider on one side is such that she can visit with her neighbor.  She looks glossy and happy, and I'm looking forward to getting enough reining lessons under my belt that I feel more confident about riding her.  But as long as it stays this warm, Sunny's on the hot-seat.

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