The Lesson That Keeps On Giving

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Yesterday was the best day Birdie and I have had – ever. When discussing leg position, Jimmy had also told me to lift my little toes. Sounds weird, but it puts my lower leg on the horse. I have to add that five minutes earlier Samantha Allan has suggested the same thing. This helps my stubborn left leg. The problem may be in my ankle. Kind of makes sense since I damaged the Achilles tendon and have stiffness there. Elizabeth is going to be so happy with my leg position improvement – I hope. Jimmy also talked a lot about changing direction often to slow Birdie down, rather than actively trying to slow him down. Lots of shoulder in and leg yield and reversing direction to keep his mind settled. He also finally addressed the rooting. He told me he’s not liking that very much and suggested I fix one hand when Birdie does it. In this way he punishes himself, but has a way down to the ground. If you jerk Birdie, of course his head goes up. If you fix both hands he reaches the end of the reins and up his head goes. If you fix one rein, he reaches the end of the reins and bends downward. That Jimmy, what a fox – that’s why his farm is named Fox Covert.So yesterday, Birdie and I did flat work – not in the ring. Jimmy had mentioned the Bird is very dependent on the walls/sides of the arena. They seem to give him security. At 45 minutes his back was so relaxed he was gently flipping his crest as I was riding him. My hands were quiet and soft. That is the moment I had finally shown my Bird to the ground. He followed the bit as long and low as I wanted to make it. I almost cried tears of joy.

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