Last night’s lesson was the best one that I’ve had in a long time. I finally had the 12 foot stride rhythm back. It seemed to take a really long time this year to make the transition from indoor to outdoor riding. It hasn’t helped that I’ve been battling some serious riding anxiety.
Before I get to the lesson recap I want to talk about frame of mind. I’m a water drinker. That’s pretty much all I drink. Occasionally I’ll have a juice or pop but that’s very rare. I had cut tea out several years ago because I was drinking it at night and it was keeping me up. Enter David’s Tea. In March I started drinking tea again, but just in the mornings. I seemed to be sleeping fine. And I was really enjoying the flavours. By April I was having a tea a day.
And then the unexplained anxiety started. I’ve always been a nervous person and sometimes had my bouts of anxiety. But things started getting weird and slightly out of control. And then a friend posted an article on FB about foods that can be bad for people with depression/anxiety.
Can you see where this is going… The first thing on the list was caffeine. So I did a bit more reading. Apparently caffeine (especially when combined with refined sugar) can worsen blood sugar control which can stress the brain. ANXIETY! So last week I cut out tea again. Sad face!
I did spend the weekend working on going forward, I also had the angry ostrich socks on and my lucky purple tank top. Who knows. It’s more likely a combination of things. But I’m going to go easy on the tea from now on just in case.
Coach G had us start with the “cloverleaf” exercise to warm-up. Jump the quarter line vertical on a right rein, circle left (towards the track), jump the quarter line vertical on a left rein, circle right (towards the track), and repeat. G wanted me to work on going forward after the jump. Exactly what I’ve been needing to work on.
The first time through I faded to far left (to give myself extra space) when making the right circle. G got after me to stay straighter after the jump. Second time through I stayed straight, sat up, no problem with the lead change.
First and second course: quarter line right rein, to long approach to diagonal vertical, to outside (natural) 6 stride, to diagonal (grey) 5 stride, to outside (purple) 6 stride. G wanted me to work on going forward. he said the first time around if we chip in bad circle in the middle of the line instead of gunning it to make the striding.
G critique of our first trip: Stay over him when going over the jump (close your hip angle) – I was noncommittal on a long spot over the diagonal single. Yay I went forward and made the striding! Good decision to circle in the middle of the diagonal line – we chipped in. STOP DROPPING YOUR EYE – apparently I kept looking for my lead. No idea I was doing it.
G critique of the second trip (no circling this time): Yay I went forward and almost ran out of room on two of the lines. Don’t give up the rein contact or drop your eye when you hit a bad spot – chip stride on the in of the purple line. Projected a much more confident ride without looking down for the lead.
Third course: trot left rein to the second of the diagonal line (towards home), first of the purple, rollback to the single diagonal, outside (natural) 6 stride, bend the first of the diagonal line to the single diagonal in 6 strides.
G critique: he made us start again after we “bowled” through the trot fence. Post and squeeze to the base, DON’T DROP YOUR EYE. We dropped a rail on the out of the natural line… we had too much rhythm!
Sorry for the long post and lack of new pictures. I’m so happy with last night’s lesson and I had a lot in my brain I wanted to get out.
Takeaway: Caffeine is bad for me. Rhythm is my friend. Keep your eyes up the whole way around.