So this week was eye opening.. to say the least.
After cruising around on xc feeling like a rockstar, our trainer decided to offer lunge lessons to work on position. Nothing to get you feeling like you don’t know how to ride like a lunge lesson can.
At the beginning of the lesson we joked about how this one lesson concentrating on my position would solve all my problems. I was joking around a lot to try and avoid actually getting to the lesson, cause I knew it was going to suck.
So, we did some work without reins and without stirrups. As well as just sitting in the saddle and trying to get me to sit correctly. A challenge in itself. A lot of position work starts with me saying “Yeah, my back doesn’t allow me to do that.” Or, “Yeah, that is basically impossible for me.” And yes, I have an injured back. And yes, I still can’t sleep at night without pain, but I’m not a frickin’ invalid. My back has become my crutch.
So, in this lesson I was just like “eh. I’ll try whatever.” And so we started. And my instructor used the saying “Feel your spine getting longer” which resonated with me. I would bring my chin and head up, my shoulders back and magically I would be in the correct position. Seriously, it was magical.
The highlight of the lesson was probably when we cantered on the lunge without reins and I had to stop because I was getting seasick. Can I blame Georgie for that? How does everyone not feel like they are about to fall off of a cliff when cantering in a circle without reins. It was funny. Kinda.
Actually the highlight was riding and having my trainer say “perfect” more than once. About my position!!!!
The lowlight was probably that I ride way better without stirrups than with. So, we are playing with that. It’s kinda odd.
We did tons of sitting trot without stirrups and cantering and it was awesome. I was saying how great it felt. And how easy it was to ride Georgie’s “bigger” trot when I was in the correct position. (Georgie’s bigger trot equals a warmblood’s stiff short trot)
And then I hopped off. And felt like someone had kicked me in the hip flexors. I could barely walk. And the next day? My upper back was so sore I actually took Tylenol and tried icing it. Apparently I had never ever used those muscles in my upper back. Ever. I was sore for two days. But hey, I figure I am going to have the most ripped back of any rider if I continue to use those muscles…
So, lots more work, but it was really exciting to be able to feel like I’m making improvements and that maybe one day I can look like I know how to ride .