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.