Jun. 3rd, 2007

alobear: (Default)
Good horse + good instructor = good lesson.

I approached this morning's riding lesson with a little trepidation, since all I've done is hacking for the last seven weeks, and the last lesson I had was the one I walked out of after 10 minutes.

However, I really lucked out today, since I was riding Conan (who does everything perfectly almost before you ask him) and the lesson was taught by Matt, who always has something constructive and interesting to say and, more importantly, is unfailingly calm, positive and encouraging.

The lesson was quite interesting. We started off by taking turns to circle to the back of the ride, which gave everyone a chance to be lead file and also forced the person second in line to pay attention, since their horse would invariably try to follow the lead horse round to the back.

After that, we did some sitting trot. We started off trotting really slowly and sitting all the way round the school, gradually building up to proper working trot speed. Then, we did an exercise where we slowed down slightly and sat round the corners, then rose again and pushed the horses on down the long side. It all made perfect sense when Matt then explained that he was essentially getting us to practice the canter transition without actually going into canter. The purpose of this was to get us used to sitting to a fast trot and maintaining our position in the canter transition by pretending it's just moving into sitting trot. It was an interesting technique and quite a useful way to look at it.

I had no trouble with my canter transition, or with keeping my seat all the way round the school - but that was purely down to Conan being brilliant, rather than any skill on my part. I actually got told off for letting him go too fast, and our second canter was much more collected.

All in all, a very good experience to get me back into lessons again.

When are we going back to Windsor, though???

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