I want to work on my riding as much as I possibly can on my own. This is difficult to do because I’m always on my own when riding. I don’t have mirrors nor a self following camera. Things like balance and position I can somewhat correct when I feel like they are off but I can’t get verification from anyone.
I’ve been looking for things that I can do on my own. Improving my overall fitness level is one. I have been working on this, specifically core focused as well. But I wanted to figure out things I could do while riding.
On Wednesday, I decided to try doing some no stirrup posting. We all were forced to do no stirrups by our trainers when we were kids but I can’t remember the last time I voluntarily rode without stirrups. It’s really good exercise and would help correct any issues I am having with my seat. It was super hard for me to do. I posted one 20 meter circle in both directions but that was about all I had in me.
Surprisingly, I could sit my trot much better without stirrups than I could with. I wonder if that means that I’m bracing against my stirrups. I probably am and I should relax and let my hips become hinges.
On Friday I took it a step further and rode bareback. That is far outside both my and Scarlet’s comfort zone. Scarlet is a horse that needs to feel like his rider is in control. If not, he freaks about everything. He is pretty spooky normally but it becomes even worse when I’m not feeling comfortable on him.
We stayed in the round pen so that I wasn’t worried about steering. At first, I was really preoccupied by how slippery his back felt and was having difficulty even at a walk. Then I realized that if I focused on riding and not staying on, I stayed on. So I focused on riding. I managed to get Scarlet to walk a fairly energetic walk and we even managed to trot for a while. It was difficult to trot. I didn’t feel like I could stay on the same way as I did when walking. I will need to do it more to figure out the balance for it. I’m sure that I will benefit from working on my balance.
I plan on trying to ride without my stirrups more often so that I can keep improving. I know my sitting trot needs a lot of work and my downward transitions as well. Hopefully, if I am forced to improve my seat, my overall riding will improve.