My mission: To completely overhaul my riding position. This means keeping my legs underneath me, back straight, abs tight, thighs rolled in, calves resting softly on my horse’s side, torso up, shoulders down and back, seat deep in the saddle, eyes up,… In short, I feel like I’m trying to do this:
While doing this:
Sure, this is challenging for any rider. But by the time you’re 50 your body is pretty certain which body parts are supposed to be where, and this just isn’t the place. So at the end of a lesson I feel like this:
As my mind contemplates the leg muscles that I never knew I had – despite having been a runner for 40 years – the words to Once in a Lifetime by the Talking Heads ring loud in my head:
“And you may ask yourself
Am I right? Am I wrong?
And you may say yourself, “My God! What have I done?”
How did I get here? It all started when my fabulous young trainer announced that he would be moving to California to pursue a graduate degree at USC Davis. I wasn’t really surprised by his announcement. He is incredibly smart, and let’s face it, being a horse trainer is not an easy life. There is no medical plan, no 401 K, no dental insurance. If he got hurt (which would likely happen eventually), who would pay him while he recovered? As a parent I completely support his decision. However, I am sad that he is gone; he became an extended member of our family and things just aren’t the same since he left.
Nevertheless, when one door closes another one opens. Yes, I am aware of how cliche this sounds, but it’s true. In this case the door opened on another young, but equally talented young equestrian. You may recall that I almost slammed the door on this sweet young woman when I had an initial lesson with her (sorry Anna – I was having the mother-of-all bad days). I have now had a total of three lessons with her, and…she is totally kicking my butt! While I was pretty sure that my seat was secure and my leg position correct, I was apparently riding under false assumptions. What’s changed? Well – everything it now seems. Now, to be fair on myself, Anna is correcting my position from the vantage point of a hunt seat rider, which I am not. However, good riding is good riding. At our last show Austin got extremely crooked, and because of my newbie status, I could not figure out how to fix the situation. The result? He remained crooked, I became crooked, and together we were a big hot mess. Anna is giving me the tools to prevent this from happening again in the future. All horses are crooked to some degree, but figuring out how to fix it is the challenge. On the positive side, my legs and abs are getting nice and strong. It goes without saying: when it comes to riding, we never stop learning.Share This: