Thursday, 5 January 2012

I'm Still Buzzing...

...from my BRILLIANT lesson today that I had with my favorite ever instructor, Lili Brooksby. She is pushes you because she knows you can do it and then you are knackered at the end of your lesson (lol) but you end up doing things that you never knew you could do!!

Lili said how well conditioned and muscled Hattie had become since she last saw her and that we had improved since our last lesson together which was last February I believe! I told her that I had kept in mind everything she had and we had practised as best as I could. She said Hattie was a lot more forward and we worked on transitions, riding with inside leg to outside hand, working on our centre lines, softening my inside rein and getting nice active trots and canters with Hattie using her back and me softening my inside rein.

We had some good active trots and Hattie's canters were AMAZING!!! I didn't even know that Hattie could canter like that. She was using her back, I didn't need to prop her up with my inside rein, for once in her life she wasn't on the forehand and it felt like it was riding a rocking horse. Tt was so active and EASY, so comfortable to ride. I caught sight of us in the mirror and Hattie's legs were in the air when she was cantering, it was lovely.

I remembered to scoot up as far forward as I could get in the saddle and didn't have any problems with the saddle slipping to the left or with it irritating Hattie. Judging from how she was going today, the saddle seems to be ok, it was me that was the problem.

So things I have to practise before our next lesson in February...

-Remember inside leg to outside hand (and when riding on the right rein, use my seat more and remember not to let my whip slide too far back as I'm prone to do).
-Keep a contact with my outside rein and soften the inside rein by making my wrist more elastic and giving slightly towards her ear (sounds like gobbildy gook as I'm writing this but in my brain and muscle memory it makes sense!).
-Don't nag Hattie with my leg, ask her decisively!
-Keep the pace active in downward transitions.
-Look where I'm going even before I come around the corner to turn down the center line. Lili said to pretend there is a big Oxer on the center line so that forces you to look. To stop Hattie drifting off to the right of the center line, I need to set her up by looking to the left and opening my left rein so that she thinks I will be turning left at the end of it.
-While on the right rein, I've been turning too late to go down the center line and over shooting it, I need to start turning about a meter before the letter. On the left rein, I need to wait a fraction later to turn so about 1/2 meter before the letter. This is something I need to play around with.

So lots of stuff to keep Hattie and I busy this month!

No piccies of my lesson today (next time!), but here is an unusual late 1860's- early 1870's CDV photo from my collection showing a man and a woman dressed for riding, waiting by the stable door. I like how you can see the groom's head just poking out! I wonder who the horse was tacked up for?


  1. So, which saddle are you using these days?

  2. My Whippy, it's not been shifting since I've changed my position. I had my instructor look at it yesterday and she said it looked alright. The saddler has to come out this month to flock my astride saddle so will ask him if he thinks my Whippy needs deflocking a bit.

  3. Glad you've gotten the saddle thing figured least until Hattie changes shape again! But it sounds like you're on the edge of making tremendous break throughs.
    After six months off, I have no idea if my MG is still going to fit Owen.

  4. Oh Leila, I am so excited for you!!!

  5. I think with the Whippy, I'll have more leeway with fit as the tree is much wider with a more open head than my C&W had if she does really muscle up. The contours of the tree fit her conformation better than the MG or the C&W did. Worse comes to worse, I can always get a Wykham pad made for it if she ends up needing a really wide tree.

    I can't believe the difference in her way of going with a few changes to my riding and position. I just need to keep practising it and getting the co-ordination as it feels like I'm learning to ride all over again!

  6. you did SO well. this really makes me smile xxx