The main focus was my balance point, fitness and seat. I’m pretty good these days in the walk and trot but I tend to sit too heavily on my butt in the canter which results in my feet and legs being pretty useless. It’s the main reason I lose stirrups on occasion and the root of my issues with horse balance around corners and on the circle.
|Fenix is a really good boy. |
MB had an exercise to work on that. After a walk and trot warm up she had me back in the two point. We started in the trot and she would randomly tell me to post then two point then post. The goal was to work on my reaction time and ability to quickly adjust my position while not falling forward or back. That went pretty well beyond my abs and legs screaming at me in defeat.
Then we moved to canter. I was to two point two strides then sit one and back up to two point for two etc....Holy crap but this was hard for me. Since I tend to sit heavily and not weight my legs/feet in the canter, the quick up and down was really difficult. I’m not sure I ever did it correctly but I did manage a full circuit around the arena doing two sitting and two in two point both directions before my body gave out. By the end I was sitting much lighter and had more weight in my heels so it was working.
After that she stopped the torture and set up a three fence grid of bounces. It began with a cross rail and two ground poles then the center became a vertical and finally the last was raised to a vertical as well.
|The final configuration. A year ago the height of the verticals would have caused serious anxiety but this was easy and fun.|
My job was simply to remain in two point through the grid and do nothing. One of her favorite sayings appears to be “we take a lot of lessons and pay a lot of money to learn how to do nothing”. The trips went fine. Too fine apparently because she then said “time to make this exciting”
I reminded her that I’m a wimp but she countered with “I’ve yet to see that” which is a testament to Trainer AB and Eeyore over the last year. The height of these fences would have sent me into cardiac arrest last summer and now...well you’ll see.
MB told me that by the end of summer I’m going to be going through a grid sans hands and stirrups. The reason? On course if you enter a combination and screw up the in, the best thing you can do is leg on, let the reins slip and balance. Also, it builds the core.
We began with one arm out. It actually went just fine. I even giggled!
Then we did my dominant right hand and while it felt a bit weirder, it still went perfectly fine. So she upped the ante and I had to do it without hands.
The first trip I did my best to throw my hands out there but then I tensed and completely forgot to actually two point so it all went a bit squirrelly. We made it through but only because Fenix is a saint and knows his job very well.
I did it again and cheated. I moved my arms away from his neck but held on to the reins still. She called it a good starting point, had me run through with one hand only again for good measure and we called it a night.
I was exhausted, elated and so very glad I found her. We chatted until well after 9pm again which was fine since our power had gone out at home at 230pm and wasn’t slated to return until 2 am so there wasn’t anything to do but sit in the dark anyway. We laughed and exchanged stories and folks....this is exactly what I’ve been wanting since moving here 6 years ago. Friday nights are my favorite part of the week.