Friday, 31 August 2012

Working on the core + legs

As anyone who reads my blog knows im a great big wuss when it comes to the canter because i am so unbalanced in the saddle last night i went out determined to work on some of my canter motivated to at least get a little bit of canter down so i am more prepared for my lesson on Sunday.... but that didnt happen.

I got out to the barn last night fed and cleaned G's stall since i was going to leave him in over night, prepared his mash for after the ride and sanitized his water bucket (very productive if you ask me). Tacked him all up and we went into the arena to start our usual routine.

First i lunged him as usual trying to really work on his transitions up and down and not allowing him to transition without my request. Then we worked on the same thing with the side reins which went very well he is still hesitant to canter in the side reins but when he does you can see that it is a lot less flaily (yes flaily the term used to describe a young unbalance horse trying to canter usually involves a crazy head toss and a really fast not very pretty to watch canter) i was pleased with how he was doing so i changed his tack over to my riding gear and got ready to ride.

I would like to mention here that my horse has , for the last 2 rides, not been a pain in the ass at the mounting block he does walk off when i get on but at least now he stands still while i mount WIN!

I got on him last night and we started out at a nice swinging walk around both sides of the arena i went to start to ask him for contact and i hear "DOOR!" *sigh* some people came into the arena for a lesson and one girl with a horse that is being taught the basics. So right there cantering was out. I was able to get G to take up contact and engage his hind end at a walk but he was so focused on the other horses that he would slow down and stop quite frequently. We did have a bit of a break through, my room mate suggested counter flexing him at the trot when he attempted to drop his shoulder and i started trying in in the spots he would usually drop his shoulder and viola! it worked!

Once we managed to make a few circles and laps around the arena i figured it was time to pick up at least the trot, so we started trotting and i couldnt for the life of me get him to engage or anything, he was trying to drop his shoulder he was ignoring my leg it took every muscle in my body to keep him at a trot which was extremely frusterating.

FINALLY they finished in the arena and i had a little time to myself, i was completely exhausted. I have been running to get my cardio up on the days that i dont ride and have lost about 10lbs recently which is awesome im only 14.6lbs from my goal at this point (yay me!) but i didnt have enough energy to work at the canter which is bad i know how will i ever get over my irrational fear of the canter if i never canter.

So i did the next best thing i noticed that when i attempted to sit the trot i could get G into a beautiful frame and he would hold it the entire time, i also noticed that my abs felt like they were on fire and after a couple minutes i could feel my legs burning as well... I was starting to hold myself in the saddle with my lower body... go figure.

So i am going to canter this weekend most likely with my trainer on sunday but until then im going to velcro my arse to that saddle at the sitting trot and build up those hold me in the saddle muscles. Tonight is another ride night so im sure i will have more on this topic tomorrow.


  1. Stirrup less work trot work is great for abs also! And helps with balance which in turn is great for canter.

    We are finally to the point of working on things in canter - departs with contact, keeping contact while cantering, accurate circles. A few months ago, I was just trying to get my rhythm in sync with Riva's.

    So - it will come. The more you canter, the better it will get - really! Helped me so much to get outside and canter on our galloping track - which has a long straight stetch. I don't know if you have access to anything like that - but it helped me a lot with learning to ride the motion.

    1. yeah im always tempted to try without stirrups and i do a little bit lol im definatly going to keep working at a sitting trot and maybe ill get brave and take off my stirrups ha ha!

      i think i would psyc myself out being on a big long strip like that ha ha G might get a little over zealous ha ha

  2. I have a neat exercise for learning the sitting trot!

    Starting in the walk, stand in your stirrups. Not 2-point. Stand up as tall and straight as you can. The only way that you can stand and keep your balance is to follow the horse's left-right motion with your hips and legs. When you get it, you will feel like you are walking from your hips. Try it at the trot next and have fun!

    This helped my sitting trot immeasurably and will also benefit your seat at the canter, because it teaches you to move each leg independently and keep your stirrups while sitting any gait. A strong core is still important, but isolating this movement is equally necessary.

    This is one of my favorite paradoxes of riding. You must learn to stand in order to learn to sit.

    1. That sounds like a great exercise i am definitely going to try that when im out riding next, it makes sense though.