Today I decided to implement stage one of the New Carly Plan: No stirrup work. And not just drop my stirrups while riding. Oh, no. I was instead
I didn't have my spurs on because I didn't want to accidently jab poor Bobby as I flopped around. I picked up a dressage whip in the arena and he didn't even freak out. Small win! Within the first five seconds of getting on, I was doubting my sanity and thinking about going back down to the barn to grab stirrups. But I manned up, giving myself a good degrading pep talk. "You want to ride better, weakling? You want to stop bouncing around at all gaits? You want to be able to survive if you lose a stirrup cross country? Then shut the fuck up and get on with it." I'm available for motivation speaking if anyone's interested.
I did fifteen minutes of walking before finally building up the courage to trot. I was prepared for either bouncing all over the place, or only staying in the saddle because Bobby was doing a western pleasure jog. However, I must not be nearly as pathetic as I think I am because as witnessed in the video I took (which I'm not going to share because it will take ten hours to upload a video where I trot into the frame for five seconds and move on), Bobby was actually trotting quite nicely and I wasn't bouncing at all. Success!
The canter was equally as "easy" as long as we were going down a straight side. I'm sure it's a little bit of both of us, but we really need to work on staying upright on circles. I was definitely leaning and Bobby was definitely dropping his shoulder. We did a few simple changes across the arena with great success.
|on our way to a change.|
I did thirty minutes in the arena with probably only ten minutes cummulative of trot and canter. It's not much, but it's a good place to start. I finished with the arena work by cantering him over a tiny vertical (maybe 2', if that). The canter in was great and then I curled into some sort of fetal frog position over the jump. Bobby landed and gave me one of his famous "I don't think this is a good idea" backwards glances. I agreed and we didn't try again.
We finished off with our thirty-ish minute trail ride loop. Bobby was bouncing along to get to his galloping hill, but all I had to do was squeeze the reins and tell him "Easy" and he politely settled into a lope to start us out. I didn't feel like I was going to die, so I let him work up into a strong canter and he stepped right into a walk when we got to the top. Most rateable eventing pony ever? Check!
My legs, of course, feel like death, but I think they'll be fine with a good stretch. I want to do no stirrups once a week, two point work in the xcountry field once a week, and grid jumping once a week. Our next show isn't until August 12th so there's plenty of time to become even more awesome.