Creating New Habits

While I’m still deep in the midst of trying to figure out what the hell my emotions are doing, I wanted to clarify that I am still happy to be working on something.  Anything.  My lessons haven’t been great lately, but I did come away from this past one with some new tools for the future.  Recently what my trainer and I have been talking most about is getting a good grip on what habits we want to encourage as I return back to riding fit, and what habits we want to stop.

Huge shock, there are more we want to stop, than encourage.  With any horse, you pick up quirks from riding them.  Minus the emotional aspects of being unable to trust and let go of the horse (thanks O), I have also become much more reliant on my hands.

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Cantering down a line with driving reins.  Can you tell I was being told to keep my chin up?

We decided last lesson to break my little happy bubble and really get at this habit this past week.  And it sucked.  Or I did.  I was chasing lesson pony like a bat out of  hell, really pushing my hands at him to get down the lines.  It was ugly.  So trainer suggested a driving rein, flipping my hands around so that I’m better set up to sit back and really let elbows move.  While it helped with my hands, it immediately took all my balance away.  I could no longer lean on my hands and shuffle around.  I had to really sit, and use my legs and pelvis to hold position.

So.  Much.  Weak.

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Yay another blurry iPhone video still!

I felt very out of control.  I cruised around the course again and again, screwing up my distances and just riding like a slob.  Poor Grover’s life probably flashed before his eyes a few times, before I asked for a few minutes to walk and just gather my scattered brain.  My trainer must have taken pity on me because she changed up my course and let me come through once more.  I got a long spot, and then a slightly short spot, but at least I committed to something.  Finally.  I have some video evidence of my last attempt.  Spoiler-it’s a floppy me jumping mostly teeny jumps.  But it’s something!

Bottom line is that I obviously still have a very long way to go before I am back to my old strength, and along that path I’m going to have to make some adjustments in order to be a better rider.   Why not fix those habits now?  While everything is still fresh?  It sucks, but I need to try to focus on growing as a rider.

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