Is There Gain In Pain?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I’ve been following my new program of working on my dressage leg and jumping leg everyday. It is making me sore. At the end of each exercise I am literally asking myself “How bad do you want it?” I must want it bad.

So anyway, I haven’t gotten to posting without stirrups past ten minutes, but I have been improving the method. Simply put, my leg without stirrups is improving. I’m also doing two point trotting up and down hills with zero support from mane, reins or leaning on neck. I’m trying to balance myself as long as possible, and it’s happening even on the up and down.
Birdie and I are working on that long, longer, longest dressage leg and opening my hips. Oww, oww, oww, but it’s happening. Tightness in my left hip is what’s lifting my right seatbone off the saddle. It’s all good.

So a test today. The Bird and I did our usual high powered stroll around the farm, followed by trotting where he chooses his head position and my hands follow. I then did jumping with my new improved, painfully acquired jumping position. That new leg works great. I have improved balance and the leg and hands are not depending on each other so much. We did the figure eight canter lead changes over the fences. Just a few weeks ago I could not transfer my weight to get the lead change in the air. This day it was systematic. No coming back too early to the saddle after the jump. Birdie started out his wound up self, but quickly relaxed and slowed down as he realized it was going to be a very different day to jump.
Yes, the gain is worth the pain. Incentive to go on.

I’ve decided that in addition to the leg/position work, I need to be a more giving rider. My horses are givers, probably most horses are. It’s a frame of mind as much as an action. I want to give to my horses at every opportunity. I want them to expect to get what they need from me. Of course, giving the reins whenever possible, but I’ve decided it’s more than that. Giving seat, lighter more flexible. Giving shoulders, elastic and kind. Riding with strength that allows me to give to them and accept what they offer, which is a lot. I ask them for something, but then I have to give them what they need to accomplish it.

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