Saturday, 7 January 2012


I'm seriously stiff and ouchy after my side saddle lesson on Thursday. Are stomach muscles supposed to hurt??? Went on a hack yesterday and then decided to do some schooling and see if we could do again what we did on Thursday during our lesson.

Well, I feel like a total beginner again. Who knew that riding correctly would make you regress!

Why is it when you learn something new, you feel like a total numpty all over again? Pain aside from using muscles I wasn't using before (who knew stomach muscles help you ride side saddle?!), I was all over the place today trying to remember to stop nagging Hattie and ask her to move forward desicively, remembering inside leg to outside hand, give with the inside rein....

I found it easier on the left rein to do all this (well, at least "inside leg to outside hand" was) but we struggled a bit on the right rein. I kept having to recheck my position and reset myself BUT we struggled on and despite muttering "ouch, ouch, ouch" with each stride of trot jolting my sore core muscles, we managed to squeeze out a bit of good riding today.

Our trot was more active (much to the disdain of my poor core muscles!) and Hattie was starting to soften and lower her head when I remembered to become more elastic with my inside rein and ride inside leg to outside hand (I find this takes A LOT of co-ordination). Our canter was rolly again too!! I couldn't believe we managed to do out rolly active canter today!

I didn't bother practising our center lines today (sorry Lili!) as I was knackered after 30 minutes of all that forward riding and rolling canters but will try again tomorrow :)

Hopefully, my co-ordination and fitness will come today soon as I have two dressage shows next month. Both are offering the Prelim 1 tests which I know and will be a good thing to practise all this new correct way of riding that Lili has taught me. It will be interesting to see what the judges comments will be.

For your viewing pleasure after reading all my ramblings, is one of my favorite videos from the British Pathe archive showing the Ladies Point to Point race from 1923. There is a good shot of a Champion & Wilton side saddle too!



  1. Re: stomach muscles - yes, yes, yes.

    When my appendix went, for the first few hours I thought I'd overdone it riding sideways the day before...

  2. Love those old movies - what a treasure they are.

    Not had too many stomach muscle issues though, but I think you ride for longer time spans than I do.