It took quite a while to get a second lesson to happen as the last several Fridays were rained out. This last Friday, I finally got to have another lesson.
I rode Zoe again and Trainer J got her ready for me again. I still feel quite spoiled with that but it is quite nice to spend all my time riding in my lesson instead of extra time grooming.
We started our lesson with me just warming up as I pleased. I incorporated some leg yields during both the walk and trot to get Trainer J’s eyes on what I’d been practicing. She seemed pretty pleased with what I was doing. We also discussed how difficult it is for me to do it on Cav. Cav doesn’t really understand communication from my outside rein. She gave me a couple of tips for when I’m working with him. One, don’t go any more sideways than he will keep his shoulder with me. If that means only one step sideways, only do one step sideways. Two, try doing leg yields at a 45degree angle on the rail. The rail will keep his shoulder in place so it would b a good practicing option.
After the warmup, I needed my stirrups adjusted. Dressage saddles are still super weird for me. I do like how flat work feels in a dressage saddle but with always riding in a jump saddle but my legs want to shorten up. I kept losing my stirrups. I’ll get there eventually with letting my legs hang properly.
Then Trainer J asked what I wanted to focus on. I considered it and decided lets focus on my position again. I don’t get to do that much on Cav as he’s pretty green still and requires more of an active ride when messes up my position. So we did.
Wow did we ever. We focused on my seat a lot. She’d noticed that Zoe was bulging out to the left in a weird fashion. She said it could be her, it could be me. So she asked me to move my right seat bone until I felt like it was in the center of my saddle. That felt so awkward. Not quite like I was going to fall off the horse to the left but close. Then I felt like above my pelvis was twisted around weird to compensate for the feeling. She had me twist my torso to the left a few times and my body just kinda slotted into place.
My weight was much more even and I could actually feel both seat bones. But I had to struggle to maintain my position. We did a bunch of walk and trot that way and I had to focus so hard to keep my seat coming back down evenly. She also suggested I try to keep both sides of my core lengthened to the same length on both sides, which helped.
We then focused on my arms. My hands keep wanting to turn so the backs of my hands are too the sky. That ends up pointing my elbows out some. We focused on rotating my thumbs up to the sky and over rotating them so that I can fix the feeling.
Trainer J also wanted to fix my elbows. I thought they were hanging nicely by my side and staying soft but she wanted me to imagine touching my jacket with them and that ended up bringing them back to my side. Again, that felt like my elbows were sticking so far behind me that I’d look like a turkey.
But feelings are never right when correcting bad posture habits. We kept at it and I could feel my lower back working super hard to maintain the correct posture. I was so sore for several days afterward.
I’m glad I found a trainer I can keep having lessons with. Each time we work on what are really small issues that have a large impact on how I’m riding. I’m looking forward to my future lessons.