Conquering Fears

Don’t you just love those rides that make you grin ear to ear from the second you climb on? I finally got back in the saddle tonight  – it was a short ride, maybe 30 minutes at the most, because it was freezing and mom had loaned her saddle to someone, so was stuck riding bareback. (Spirit+Weeks off of work+bareback=feisty pony.) But still, it was good. We rode at feeding time, so I knew they would be a little barn sour. Red was pretty heavy and leaned into the bridle a lot, trying to get me towards the barn. He definitely had a lot of energy and was pushing me a little in the beginning, but we did a lot of slow walking and circles and he settled really nicely. Mom went ahead and dismounted pretty quickly because her hands were freezing and she forgot her gloves, but Red and I spent a few extra minutes on jogging, circles and rollbacks. Red has always had a bad habit of not listening to me very well at the trot when I ask him to turn. I know that we need to work on that considering we want to work on barrels very lightly and etc, plus he just needs to be more supple.

Jogging. My heels stink still, I’m going to lower my stirrups tomorrow because I just can’t keep them down comfortably…

We did a few laps of extended trot, halt, and then circle. I didn’t work that much on the extended trot tonight and mostly kept him in a jog. That’s improved 100% in the last few months, he’s gotten so much smoother now and it’s helped me out so much. He’s using his body so well now, if I could only get my act together. I’m going to work on my stirrups tomorrow, get them lowered and see how that helps me. I just can’t keep my heels down.

I also did two-point for the first time ever. Ouch. Doing two-point in a western saddle isn’t really something I’ve heard talked about but oh well, it helped me sit the canter better so hey. I did it at the trot at first then moved into a canter there at the end and held it for a few beats before I gave up and stopped, haha.

I feel like we’ve taken a lot of steps forward and I’ve just gotta get more confidence in myself. I have total confidence in Red, I just need to work on myself so much in the new year. I’m too nervous and that’s effecting my EQ. But I do feel good about where we’re at. Mom was commenting today on how good we’re looking together and how we finally seem to be clicking – she also said his neck looks gorgeous, which I must agree. 😉 Collection has done wonders on his neck and it’s so muscular now that he’s using it and ooh-la-la. I’m trying to add videos later (still not used to WordPress) and I would really like some constructive criticism on a few things. For the most part, I know what I need to work on, but hey, opinions are always nice. I’d love comments on the photos as well…how are we both looking?

So, with this ride I’ve come away with some things, homework. These are the things I need to improve in order to move onto the next level of things:

  • Heels. Down.
  • Back needs to be straighter.
  • Confidence. ‘Nuff said.
  • Post the trot better.
  • Sit the canter better.

And the things that I feel like Red needs to improve on:

  • Rollbacks.
  • Extended trot. (Doing real good at the jog nowadays.)
  • Canter…it’s still rough 😛

For the most part, Red works through all of his issues (barn sour, stiff, etc) by like 5 minutes of riding. After that, he starts being supple and just lovely for me. If I can get better, I feel like most of his problems will go away 99%.

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5 thoughts on “Conquering Fears”

  1. Definitely lower your stirrups. They look too short to me. Don’t feel bad about the heels! I couldn’t keep mine down today either (or keep my lower leg still ugh!). What do you mean by your back straighter? It looks straight to me. Maybe you are slumping your shoulders a little…. try raising your shoulders to your ears, roll them backwards and let them drop in a relaxed position. I’m REALLY bad about slumping my shoulders forward, but if I try to just push them back (squeeze shoulder blades together to open up the chest) I get tense. Rolling them helps me with that. Other than that you look great to me! Lowering your stirrups should help a lot with your leg. Also if you feel like you are gripping with your leg instead of sinking down into your seat, pull your whole leg off the saddle, all the way up to your hips, then let them sink back down. I have a tendency to draw my whole leg up if I get tense and pulling them off helps me get back to relaxing them. Now I just need to take my own advice! I think every bad habit I have was plaguing me today (from the beginning of the ride, the pictures I posted are the second half after I calmed down so they are better).

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    1. I’m going to lower them next time I ride! I think they are too short, to. Thank you for the tips!! I’ve gotten way better at the trot but at the canter I always slouch so much 😛

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  2. Hey sounds like you had a good time! I rode the other day and it went great! It was sooo the type of ride you just don’t ever want to end! I think you both are looking better but I’m glad your gonna try putting the stirrups down a bit. Hope it helps!
    I couldn’t really tell you were slouching but then you might not see it so much in a picture. For me I normally ride pretty stiff and straight so I need to learn to relax!

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