Training versus Riding
|June 21, 2016||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
While it is technically true that every time I interact with my horse, I am “training”, I think that both creatures in the partnership can fall into a rut where riding is happening and a status quo is being maintained, without any active training occurring.
For the last 5 years or so Farley and I have most DEFINITELY entered that twilight zone with both of us being satisfied most of the time, but often vaguely irritated at each other.
This year I’ve noticed that I’m doing a lot more training during rides. Conditioning has become less of a “git ‘er done” and more about the “how”.
Lately it seems like there’s more room in my brain to focus on all that little stuff I couldn’t be bothered with before and we are smoothing out the rough edges.
Instead of agonizing over which new saddle pad I need to buy in order to fix “x” problem, I’m trying to figure out whether my hips matching her hips as we blast down the trail at the trot. Are my shoulders squared with her shoulders?
Instead of worrying about whether today’s ride will “be enough” for whatever big ride is next on our schedule, I find myself concentrating on making her rate on a loose rein, and making multiple respectful mounts out on the trail.
Perhaps some of the change is because every time I swing a leg over Farley I can’t help but think of Merrylegs. The future of when ML becomes my *endurance mount is just around the corner and I think my subconscious has started to mold me into being the kind of rider ML needs me to be, instead of the rider Farley lets me get away with being (*grin*). Maybe I’ll be more ready to take ML down the trail when it’s time than I think.
*I think she’s gained about 50 pounds. Fingers crossed this trend continues.
In a sorta related subject, the saddle stool is really helping me train even when I can’t be on the back of a horse. Combine Saddle stool + mirror + time and it is amazing for fixing some imbalances that are so tough to fix when riding, especially when you don’t have eyes on the ground.
Can I touch the floor equally on both sides with both feet with the saddle squared under me?
After my feet have been in the stirrups for a while and then I drop my feet to the floor am I still even? Or have a shifted?
Am I collapsing one side and shoulder? (I tend to have my hips shifted to the right, and my left side collapsed and brought too far back).
Am I bracing in the saddle for some reason? (no reason is good enough for the amount of muscle tension I have in the saddle).
What is the best way for my pelvis to be in the saddle in order to feel balanced without strain over an hour?