photo of the day
It’s been raining buckets all day today. Cats and dogs. It’s raining men, hallujah, it’s raining men. Ok, stopping now. Sorry.
But seriously, it has been a cold, wet and nasty day. Clare took a look out the window and asked if she could skip riding. I can understand it. Ridership falls off in the winter. Even in the indoor ring, it can be very nippy. But it has to be pretty bad outside for me to want to skip my lesson. So despite the fact that I didn’t want to go outside either, I bundled up and headed to the barn.
When I got there, Oso was in a stall to dry out a bit for our lesson. His normally fluffy brown coat was matted and damp. He was a bit moody (wouldn’t you be if you were him?) so I gave him a couple of cookies before I tacked him up and we headed into the indoor ring.
Before our lesson officially started and while I was walking Oso and getting his and my head focused on the task at hand, my instructor and I talked about taking advantage of my private time with her and what we could accomplish. I have been pretty frustrated about my leg position (just why the heck are they always too far forward and why can’t I keep my heels down?) so we decided to work on that plus some mounting and dismounting practice — I need to be able to get off with a softer landing so I can avoid another knee injury.
It’s been a long time but Adriane pulled out a lunge line so I could work in a trot without having to focus on steering and could just concentrate on my legs and keeping my heels down. I can remember in my first lessons feeling so very unsure of myself and unbalanced even on the lunge line. The idea of not clinging to the reins for dear life and still being able to stay on was truly disconcerting. Riding and posting without stirrups was beyond what I could imagine. But yesterday we worked on all of that. We trotted without the reins and I stayed balanced and pretty secure in my seat. My legs behaved themselves and stayed where they needed to be. I posted confidently without the stirrups. I do so love when I leave a lesson feeling like I learned something or worked through something that had been keeping me from moving forward. I do so wish I had more time to ride.
Then our time was up and we took Oso back to the barn to take off his tack, brush him out and give him a treat before taking him back to his paddock. I let myself linger a bit and listen to the chatter of the other women in the barn. I smell the smells, petted and talked to the horses in the barn and then, reluctantly left. I’m looking forward to the warmer weather and the ability to ride outside again with much less clothing!