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:
- 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!
- dropping my inside and raising my outside rein when I circle...pretty consistently all the time
- 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.
- this last one really scunners* me....trying TOO hard!
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!