I had my first side saddle lesson in ages with Lili Brooksby and it was amazing!
She is an excellent teacher and stopped me from being so wimpy by making me RIDE my horse. I'm exhausted mentally and physically as I learned so much today but I'm happy as we really improved from the start of our lesson to the end of it.
I have been sitting crooked all this time (too far over to the right but she said that I compensated for it well by keeping my right shoulder back) and she got me to sit more to the left of my saddle so that my spine is over Hattie's.
We worked on getting Hattie more forward and stopping me from working so hard to get her forward by constantly nagging with my left leg (hard to do but we were getting there in the end). Lili got us to work on our walk/trot transitions so that they were more smoother and not so abrupt by balancing her with my outside rein and preparing her by half halting. We we also worked on keeping her to a slight bend to the inside so I could see Hattie's eyelashes and all this work on balancing Hattie and my corrected riding position, resulted to Hattie working in a nice outline with a nice contact and not being really heavy on the reins like she can be.
Lili also got me to point my right foot down for canter transitions and get her prepared for cantering by going in a nice forward trot with a slight bend to the inside and a nice elastic contact. She also told me about the use of the right hip when cantering and to really put your weigh into it as it acts as your right leg to stop your horse from swinging it's back around.
We did get to canter on both reins though, I'm so happy!!
I also need to work on keeping my hands lower when cantering as I tend to raise them too high and it makes her go hollow and becareful with my whip as it tickles Hattie and she gets annoyed and bucks (she did a big buck in the canter from my whip swinging back and tickling her but Lili said I sat that well!).
My saddle started rolling to the left by the end of the lesson and it REALLY needs flocking up again as Lili said that when Hattie was really using her back and going well, that I had the saddle rolling me to the left undoing everything so the saddler is coming out next Thursday to adjust it. She said that it may be overflocked as well.
I know Lili taught me more things today but my brain is shutting down for the night now but I know they will come back to me when I school this week!
Another piece of good news, the equestrian company that I spoke about having problems with in my blog post about Rotten Row, sent back my side saddle riser numnah along with a complimentary white quilted side saddle pad as a thank you and a pink side saddle cover with my name on it! They sent me a letter of apology saying that they got swamped with Christmas orders so I'm glad that they had the decency to rectify the situation. Like I said before, I've ordered twice from them in the past and have always been happy with my goods and so am really pleased with the ones they sent me this week!