I have two things to talk about today. Firstly, my lesson last night was amazing! It’s like all of a sudden a bunch of things clicked into place for me. We were down in the main hunter ring again (the same course is still set up).
G set up a warm-up exercise on the quarter line with a 2’3″ vertical and a pole set one stride in front. A mini gymnastic… we all know how much I love those. Blarg! He had us canter in and then halt on a straight line. The first time through we pulled a rail. G explained that it was because I was pushing him forward in a full seat. There just is not enough time to drive from a full seat and get out of the back of the tack in time to two point.
Now I’ve been working hard all winter to build up the half seat muscle memory. I’ve struggled with it, I’ve pushed and forced myself to hold it. It’s not that I don’t have the muscle to do it it’s just that the full seat is my default position to drive him forward. My boy takes a lot of leg! I subconsciously do what works. It’s a hard thing to control.
BUT, tonight I got it! The second time through I held the half seat, pushed him through while in the half seat. He gave a really nice bascule over the jump. Yay! It’s like that was all I needed. I held it all night long. Pushed through every line for the right striding in my half seat with contact to keep his pole elevated. It felt so good!
So my outdoor ride is back, I think I finally get the feel of pushing while staying in the front of the tack, and not throwing the contact away to move up. G cautioned that when riding in that position it is easier to tip the weight into the toe and therefore tip forward. Make sure the weight stays in the heel. He also said that riding in that position means you don’t give as fast with the rein. Because you’re already forward the release should be over the jump not before.
The second thing I have to say is. Drum-roll please… Tucker is official mine. I handed G the rest of the payment for him last night. I’m so excited to have a horse of my own again. It’s way ahead of schedule. I had not planned on getting another one while I was still in school and still living downtown. But sometimes you just have to go with it and trust that things have worked out the way they are supposed to. Love my boy!
Takeaway: Half seat is your friend, continue to stay connected, be conscious of your position.