Tuesday, 15 January 2019

To the Right, To the Right

I dragged Pony Grandma out to the barn with me on that cold and windy Saturday night two weekends ago with the intent of getting some video of my ride on Cisco. Of course, I was hoping for a better ride than I got for some more flattering screenshots, but nonetheless, the video was useful for something else.

It made me realize that I can't turn my body to the right.

When I was taking lessons last summer, that was something that I got nailed for. Going to the right, I should be turning my torso so that my right shoulder comes back, and my left shoulder goes forward.
It's not happening here.
It makes a huge difference with Cisco. He prefers to drop onto his right shoulder when tracking right, and falls to the inside. I'm 99% sure that this plays a significant role in our difficulty in picking up the right lead canter.

When I remember to turn my shoulders, Cisco softens and bends right. When he is being resistant that way, I've been trying to just keep my body turned and wait him out instead of getting into a pulling war on the inside rein.

I've been thinking about this a lot as I ride. And making progress.

Or so I thought.
Or here.
To my dismay, when I watched the video, I didn't see any movement of my shoulders. Like if you took away the walls of the arena, I wouldn't be able to tell if I was tracking left or right.


So on my next ride on Phantom, which was a week later because it was fricking cold all week, I worked on turning my body to the right. I trotted around with my right hand on my cantle, looked at her right hind foot, and turned. Thankfully I was riding by myself, and there were no jumps to worry about running into, and Phantom is reliable and able to stay on the track, because I was looking behind me and not where I was going.

Then I had to turn to the right, and stay on my right seat bone. I kept wnting to fall onto my left seat bone and throw everything to the outside.
So not happening here.
My back and left side was not happy. Especially after I got off.

But I did hit a point where it almost felt easy and fluid. I actually saw my left shoulder in front of me. Hello left shoulder, where have you been all my life?

Since my rides on Phantom are legging-up type rides for the next few weeks, I think I'm going to keep concentrating on turning right on our rides. She's nice and steady and reliable and doesn't care if I'm doing weird things.

Unless I do airplane arms.


  1. Body awareness is SO hard - I find videos super helpful as well.

    1. I love to watch video and analyse my riding. Sadly it doesn't always look as good as it feels!