I am determined to learn how to ride well. Maybe a little too determined. Barbara had me do that exercise of spiraling in and out with just my legs and it was a disaster. She was yelling (to be heard over the wind, not because she’s one of those instructors) 50 different instructions at once. Turn your shoulders in. Don’t pull back on the outside rein. Don’t put the outside rein next to his neck. Keep a wide feel on both reins, use your inside leg – no not your spur, your calf. Tap him with the whip. Tap tap whack. Don’t collapse in your core. Post over his left shoulder….
I kept getting tenser and more crooked and twisted, and PJ kept not turning or not going. Finally I started getting it a little and we quit. I sat on PJ as we discussed what was going on, which was he needed to move off his inside hind and I needed not to fall apart when he dropped his inside shoulder – they both fed into each other. We got on the subject of the neighbor kids who had just finished a lesson before me. Barbara said that the boy had to post trot without stirrups a lot because his legs were weak. Of course, the conversation shifted to Maryann and I and that we should also be able to ride without stirrups, so I said bring it on. Barbara doubted I would be able to do much since we had worked so hard already. I was happy to prove her wrong.
I dropped my stirrups and started post trotting. Low and behold, I was straight! And PJ turned! I took short sitting trot breaks and my sitting trot was pretty good – I wasn’t bouncing around. We worked both directions. So, now my homework is to ride without stirrups. Oh fun.