Kids who grow up riding seem to have natural balance, lack of fear, and a great seat. Galloping bareback on a pony that wanted to buck you off at each turn was the best education. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any of that. I started lessons when I was 12, which was too old to develop a natural feel, and my initial riding excursions were on super quiet schoolmasters, so no having to learn to hang on.
I’ve been able to overcome a lot of these handicaps. I am much more bold because I have a horse I can trust, and I work very hard on the mechanics of riding. But, I have to work at it. I had two lessons in a row this week because I won’t be able to make one of my lessons next week. At both lessons we worked on my balance.
Barbara had me stand up in my stirrups as PJ trotted. On the first day it was very difficult to not post or get into two-point position. To achieve this feat, I had to move through my joints and open my hip angle. I finally realized how much my hip angle is normally closed and concentrated mostly on that. I ended up holding PJ’s mane and when the lesson was over, I had a clump of his hair in my hand!
On the second day, it was easier. PJ moved freer when I got it, which tells me this is something I MUST master. It always comes down to basics – basics that most kids pick up on unruly ponies without even trying. But, I think I’m a little to old to try to relive a childhood I never had and I’ll stick to my saint of horse, thank you very much.