Riding lesson

Today was a great lesson. Steve and I got to the barn early with Emmy and had time to longe her first to get the ya-yas out. Today we worked on posting and leg position. I wrote a little reflection on my lesson:

Riding lesson with Emmy!

Riding lesson with Emmy!

 Undoing the hunter-jumper mindset – the myth of the quiet seat.

Is it possible that all my training and years of riding as a girl basically just taught me how to stay on a horse vs. really drive it with my seat? I think so. I thought I knew how to ride, but I am learning that I never truly did. I was just staying on most of the time. Having a stubborn pony helped me develop strong legs, and my trainers did a good job in the fundamentals. I learned to drive the horse with my legs and use my upper body (forward or backward inclination) to communicate speed. But I’m not sure I really got training in the use of my seat other than try to keep it!

For instance, good posting meant you looked decent getting around the ring. The idea was not to flop all over. Now that I am learning the discipline of dressage, I am throwing some element of my previous training out each lesson. However, sometimes I don’t know what I’m supposed to throw out until I unravel why I keep doing what I’m not supposed to do. Why am I supposed to be thrusting my hips forward so assertively with each post? Today I finally understood that the swing of the hips through the post is not about appearance, but rather serves to drive the horse forward. Now I get why we’ve been working on it. The point is the function it serves, not simply the form. Proper form will follow (eventually) if I can keep focused on the function.

Now I just need to find a way to ride more!

Here’s a video of the lesson. At 0:55 sec Emmy got spooked by something so I got to enjoy an unexpected canter. 😉 Thanks to Steve for capturing this!

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