If Only I Could Ride My Way Out of a Paper Sack

I have been having some serious issues with my riding lately. I am so frustrated. Intellectually, I know that in order to get Ava’s hind legs to come up under her, then I can’t pull back. What do I do, I pull back.  I grip with my thighs. I can’t keep my feet beneath me. My forearms and wrists are so tight that you can’t possibly expect a horse to be happy with that. I can’t sit the trot, I lean forward, I hunch my shoulders, I.. Aaarrrggghhh!!!!!!

Add onto this that I’m making my poor horse crazy, and she’s developed all kinds of ways to deal with my stupid butt. So, I asked Bern to ride Ava.

Of course, within 10 minutes on Ava, Bern had her going like a champ. I swear Bern only needed 2 minutes, but she spent several minutes explaining what she was doing and why so I’d understand how to ride Ava better.

After Bern got off, I jumped on to see if I could duplicate the results. It was like riding a fluffy marsh mellow. Ava was light, responsive, supple… amazing to feel. And I could really feel the shift in balance toward the rear.

Bern worked with me the rest of the lesson on how I give my aids, and to always keep them light. I tend to ask once, get frustrated, and immediately resort to brute strength. This pisses Ava off, who inverts and resists. I get stronger, she gets more resistant, I get even stronger… Aaarrrggghhhh!

I wish I could have one week of daily lessons, even if they were just 15 minutes each, so I could solidify the right things in my brain. Everything’s fine as long as Bern is there, but the second I’m on my own… it’s like everything she just said flies out the window. I frustrate the crap out of myself!

Yesterday I rode, and… I don’t know.. it seems like Ava is just so tired. I ask, and… nothing. No response. I ask, I ask, I back it up, Ava gets mad. I couldn’t get anything to work right, and Ava just seemed to shut down. So I quit, and we went for a gallop through the field instead.

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3 thoughts on “If Only I Could Ride My Way Out of a Paper Sack

  1. I know exactly what you are feeling…down to the, oh I give up lets just go for a gallop! Amazing what a brief schooling by the trainer does for your horse and you. I had another blogger comment on my blog, after I had a similar post. She commented ‘and that is why you have a trainer.’ At first the comment didn’t sit well with me. But the more I thought about it, the more i knew she was right!

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    • Thanks, Kelly! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one. 🙂

      I would’ve quit in utter frustration long ago without my trainer to help me. I get stuck in my bad habits and it takes a good metaphorical whack to the back of the head to knock sense into me sometimes. 😉

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  2. Agree with Kelly above – that’s why we have a trainer. :0)

    The thing that helps me the most is once my trainer has given me an instruction and I am able to implement it, I stop and explain it back to her. She checks that I understand and then I ride it again. If possible, I go home and blog about it to even further “solidify it in my brain” as you said.

    Do you know what kind of “learner” you are? (Teacher talk). I know I learn best by hearing myself say it. Even doing it is not enough for me. Some people learn best by watching, doing it, hearing, etc. If you could really articulate your learning style, it might help you ride better, or at least what you consider better. I’d give my little pinky toe to be where you and Ava are!

    Keep on keeping on! :0)
    Karen

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