A winter of no lessons

It’s been six months since my last lesson. At this point, I’m almost embarrassed to have a lesson. I know I’ve developed bad habits, and I’m doing weird contortions body wise while riding. I’m not entirely sure what is going on with that, but it’s definitely not helping things.

However, on the plus side, not having lessons for so long really makes you dependent on yourself to “self-regulate”. I have a mental checklist of body position issues I run through whenever a ride starts to fall apart. Most times just running through it is enough to fix whatever was going wrong.

The one problem I’m having is I still can’t get Ava consistently relaxed every ride. Some rides are fantastic. You can feel every muscle in her body loosen and stretch and flow. Other days it’s like riding a steel band. I spent several months this winter working on the forward, down, out idea (focus on getting her to round over her back). It’s helped, but it taught me that she always squeezes out the right shoulder. Always. If she won’t relax and round her whole body then it’s the right shoulder. An issue with turning.. right shoulder. Etc. I’m more aware of how she uses it to make the work easier on herself. Sometimes I can catch it right away and the whole ride goes wonderfully. Other days, I can’t figure out how to fix it, everything that worked before no longer works, and I spend the entire ride just trying to get four steps of real straightness before we quit for the day. In Ava’s defense… it’s probably my seat causing issues on those days.

Ava and Beau

Ava and Beau


Anyway, it’s still too cold here. There’s still too much snow. There’s this vague thought in the back of my head that show season is right around the corner, but it seems so impossible when everything is still hidden in snow and ice.

4 thoughts on “A winter of no lessons

  1. Wizard always throws out his right shoulder too! It’s so annoying… my trainer wants us to start doing a collected trot, circling in, and then leg-yielding out onto the big circle and making him canter. OMG IT’S SO HARD. He hates me. I hate it. We both hate it. Supposedly it’s suppose to make him stronger though… but to the right, he really has to pick up his right shoulder and he HATES it. Anyway, totally sympathize, I get so frustrated 😦 Hope the lesson went well!


    • It IS frustrating! I’ve been working on it for almost 3 years and it seems like one thing will work for a while, and then suddenly it just stops working… it’s my never ending struggle. πŸ™‚

      The spiral in sounds like a great idea. I think I’ll try it the next time I ride. Thanks!


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