Monday, 31 January 2011

Must try harder...but not TOO hard!

Why is it that as you ride more, the easy things seem to get harder?

I had a short private lesson today and rather than working on jumping, I took the tough option and gave my ego a battering as I went back to basics and attempting to correct some of my worst riding habits. Lets be honest, we all have them, even if most of the time we try to ignore them in the hope we will just gradually 'ride them out'. My personal afflictions include:
  1. pulling my leg up a few inches when I press it on...OK probably 'a few' is being unduly kind on myself. Without stirrups, many inches, maybe 4 or 5 inches!
  2. dropping my inside and raising my outside rein when I circle...pretty consistently all the time
  3. allowing my weight to shift when a horse isn't responding to my leg, i.e in order to press harder I lean into the leg. What a ridiculous picture, I am trying to imagine how stupid that must look.
  4. this last one really scunners* me....trying TOO hard!
Today, I spent a 30 minute session working on circles, shallow loops and leg yielding trying my damnedest not to use the reins at all.,which was tough. How can 30 minutes of walking and trotting be hard.....what a wimp!

These are not easy habits to break, in particular the last one...I swear the best I have ridden in ages was with a hangover one day, probably still some wine coursing through my veins resulting in a much more relaxed me in the saddle. I clearly need to loosen up! I can see there is no quick fix.....I'll have to try and work at it every time I get in the saddle, but not to try TOO hard mind you!

* For those who don't know 'scunners' is a good old Scottish word meaning it is a total nuisance!


  1. You have good and bad lessons all the time and especially when it is a private lesson the spotlight is on you and while it is good to go to the odd private you do take a bit of a battering and you end up leaving the lesson like it was not very good but I bet on your next lesson the bad habits you worked on today will be more consious of and will be able to correct them without you even realising it. I will remind you not to try to hard the next time I see you.

  2. Thank you Jane, you keep me right...wasn't a bad lesson really, was a good one really, just leave your ego at the stable door!