Monday, November 7, 2016

Positional Corrections

I'm not sure how this is possible, but my position over fences is so much more solid than my position on the flat. More specifically, my position in a dressage saddle varies from "Oh, she might be getting it!" to "What in the actual fuck is happening here?"

It's a dressage saddle. Isn't the whole point of it to drape your leg beautifully in a vertical line and keep your upper half erect?

just really good at dressaging, okay?

Fortunately (I guess), all this walking we've been doing leaves me room for little else than being obsessive hyper aware of what all my body parts are doing. Like, was that my heel that just touched Bobby's stifle? I don't know, I'm too busy trying to un-pinch my fat roll from my belt buckle because I slump so badly.

i know my fave activity is ragging on bobby, but he truly is the definition of an ammy horse.
sure he might try to kill you sometimes, but he still goes like this when you ride like that.
proof years of incorrect training is just fine.
lolz, no, don't be like me, kids.

I've been trying to be hard on myself and just bitch slap all these bad habits right in the face. That's a solid game plan because everyone should always be striving to improve their riding, but at the same time I came home Saturday evening after dragging Hubby out for media so I could do a check-in on where I was, and I had a cry for myself. Being Type A is a full time job, you guys. Not being instantly perfect can be puh-retty fucking deflating.

Obviously crying will get bitches nowhere, and Denny Emerson would be all, "blah blah the poorer you are and the harder you work, the more I like you. Now go plant some flowers in front of your barn!" So I feel like Denny would like me quite a bit because I do love some flowers, but more to the point, I'm down to get dirty here.

put that fucking hand down.

Here's what's on my list for positional fixes I want to crack down on this winter so that I can come out next summer and have the judge just slap a big ole #SLAY on my collective marks.
  • My core has reverted to being a straight up weakling. Not that it's ever been particularly steely, but taking a couple months off from real dressage work erased all semblance of ab strength. After two days of being back in my dressage saddle, I was literally whimpering when sweeping the barn aisle. My first instinct to combat my horrible slouching is to leanreallyfarback which is not correct either. Instead I need to broaden my shoulders, open up my chest, and lift my back and core. 
  • I have to stop. fucking. nagging. with my lower leg. I need to work on staying neutral at all times until I'm actually asking for something. When I do this, my trained horse carries on doing his job instead of getting annoyed and always trying to figure out if I'm asking him to do something or just flailing. And then when I do need something, he's super responsive to the tiniest of changes in my aids. This is an instant change in both our ways of going, but for sure the hardest for me.
i'm ten thousand times more annoying at the walk than i am at the trot
  • I need to shorten my reins way up. When I let them get so long, they dump my hands into my lap. Instead of shortening my reins, I like to just lift my hands up really high as a fix. Not the right fix. Stop it.
  • When bending/doing a circle, my upper body doesn't need to make its own circle. I need to keep my shoulders from tipping down and in, and keep my head straight.
  • I'm usually super aware of my crooked right wrist and drifting elbow after dealing with that issue for a long, long time. But this ties into the too long reins, where straightening my wrist is all well and good, but if its then hovering six feet above my horse's neck, it's still not doing its job. 
sometimes it looks like we're marginally qualified.
qualified for what, i don't know.

As for Bobby, my two main focuses are Push and Power. I'm trying to slowly build up to riding for a bolder, more forward pace without feeling like an airplane about to crash from running onto the forehand.

It's a work in progress, but for a being a horse that's supposedly navicular, supposedly might have some sort of soft tissue injury, or supposedly shouldn't be being treated for anything because he won't ever be sound for any sort of flat work, "rehab" is going well so far. As in, he's sound, and he's staying sound with every little step forward I shove back in there...including our first left lead canter!

I mean, one whole big circle #dropmic, but still.

This is what the dark days (aka Winter) are best for, right? The slow, boring, drudge work.


  1. Slouching and nagging are two of my FAVORITE things!

  2. I feel like Denny and I would be BFF's, as well. Ugh not being instantly perfect is the #1 reason for all of my psychological problems. I'm gonna join you in the Long Reins Nagging Slouchy Type A Poor Riders With Questionable Mounts Club.

  3. "Being Type A is a full time job, you guys. Not being instantly perfect can be puh-retty fucking deflating."

    This is my struggle every day. I want to join the club with you and Alli! Ugh.

    But I'm so happy to hear Bobby's rehab is still going well!

    1. I'll also join the club. When is the first meeting?

  4. I love that his dog collar stays on haha. Also, I tend to do the circle thing too. Like, shoulder, what doing?!

  5. Dear Bobby:
    Your canter looks freakin DREAMY, you should do that always.

    Love, Everyone

  6. ""proof years of incorrect training is just fine"" --> you inspire me lol :)

  7. Yay for sound ponies! I have the greatest faith in a thoroughbred's ability to be like "career ending injury? What career ending injury?". I own an extremely curmudgeonly OTTB mare who is 21, has had two "career ending" soft tissue injuries... and she just keeps going. I hope Bobby continues to defy the vets :)

  8. I suppose that is a great plan for winter. Ugh, I hate winter.
    My reins are ALWAYS too long. Have you ever had that moment where your horses is like a millimeter away from being perfect, but your reins are too long so you can't quite finish getting him there? But you're afraid to shorten them cause then you'll have to start all over? That's my everyday.

  9. That DE quote is perfection.

  10. That navicular soft tissue injured forever lame horse looks pretty damn good! And, um, I also do the thing where instead of shortening my reins, I turn into a T-Rex. If I put my elbows way in and just have hands functioning about two feet above the saddle, that must be correct.

  11. Bobby looks super! And I laughed out loud at the Denny comment. I have similar issues- the walk is the WORST!

  12. Im really great at slouching and not engaging my core too

  13. "Obviously crying will get bitches nowhere, and Denny Emerson would be all, "blah blah the poorer you are and the harder you work, the more I like you. Now go plant some flowers in front of your barn!"

    Yes. Denny wins.


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