Lisa's Blog Post #1

Oh.  My.  Goodness.   I thank the Lord for Lesley Stevenson.  She fixed me!

Now I just need to be able to do it on my own and do it until it becomes instinctive.

Basically, I have been riding backwards.  I have been riding from my hands to my seat instead of from my seat to my hands.  To fix it she had me get him out in front of my leg at the walk so he was really marching.  Then I took up a light contact on the reins and asked for bend, making sure I was following with my seat and thinking forward into the light feel.  If he hollowed, I was to use my leg and urge him forward to get him back into the contact.  If he wanted to lean on my hand I was to let him stretch and seek the contact – not to hold him up – always thinking forward.

Cotton obviously appreciated my new skill!  Though I need to work on canter departures big time, he went into each one relaxed and easy – no bucking or leaping or leaning or rushing.  The two times he did get a teensy bit light on the back end as we were cantering around – it kind of felt like he thought about switching behind – Lesley could tell it was because I wasn’t urging him forward.  His canter was so easy I thought I could have done a stadium round right then and there!

At the trot we practiced slowing down and speeding up – all by using my seat by posting  slower instead of taking back with my hands – and always thinking forward.   I’d like to make learning how to do that at the canter in 2-point the focus of next week’s lesson.

How have I missed this all these years?  Why did Cotton suddenly rebel against the way I’ve been riding him for the past 1½ years?  I have no clue – but I do know that the situation involving my fall during last week’s lesson began this short chain of events that has lead to a completely new way of riding for me! 

So should I say I’m glad I bit the dirt?  Well…actually....yes!  

I am thankful I didn’t get hurt and, you know, if you don’t get injured your fall doesn’t count!

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