Apr. 1st, 2006

jennyaxe: Photo in black and white. I'm in profile, looking to the left, with a calm and content half-smile. (Default)
So today was the first day of riding lessons on Samurai. I got to the stables at 12.15 for lunch with the other participants, which was nice. I cleaned Campero's fistula (he still has a hole going through his cheek by the fracture) and mucked out Samurai's box. At 14 I brought Samurai in so he'd be able to eat while I mucked out Campero's box. I got him ready on time to get into the riding house and start warming him up ten minutes before 15, when my lesson was to start.

We started with simply walking around and I got some tips on how to improve my seat. Eva saw that I tend to not notice if I'm not sitting centered on the horse and she helped me with tips on how to avoid listing to one side. Then we did rising trot, where again she helped me get a better seat - I tend to fall forward a bit too much and she had me practicing my balance by standing in the saddle while Samurai was standing still, until I could stand properly without losing my balance. Then I did some more turns doing rising trot so I'd get it fixed in my mind.

After that it was time for the seated trot. As I wrote yesterday, that's something that's always been a problem for me. Part of it is that with the abdominal pains from the endometriosis, the incessant movements required for the seated trot can be very painful, but the greatest part is that I'm not supple enough or relaxed enough to follow the horse's motions.

Eva helped me with this. She had me relaxed enough that I could do seated trot for several minutes, with change of pacing and speed, without losing the rhythm. Part of it was simply learning how to deal with losing the rhythm - I've kept trying to get it back while keeping the horse at a trot, but that's uncomfortable for both of us and has never been successful. Eva told me to instead slow down to a walk and get my seat back properly at walking pace, and then try again. This worked wonders!

Then we did turning on front legs and hind legs. This is stuff that Samurai knows very well but I have never tried it before - and that's an occasion where it's abundantly clear what a good thing it is to ride such a well schooled horse. Every time I managed to do my part correctly, he responded immediately, so I got an immediate feedback telling me if I was right.

After that we did some gallops, which went well, and then the lesson was over. Samurai seemed quite pleased with finally having me riding him better; he had some of that white foam around the bit and he rubbed his head against me thoroughly afterwards - always a sign that he enjoyed the ride. For me it was lovely - not least knowing that I was in the saddle for an hour, doing some rather strenuous stuff, and I made it through the whole hour without having to ask for a break!

I'm very tired and in quite a bit of pain - but happy, content and looking forward to tomorrow.


jennyaxe: Photo in black and white. I'm in profile, looking to the left, with a calm and content half-smile. (Default)

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