My much anticipated lesson with Max this morning. I was absolutely thrilled that Max was so pleased with the overall improvement in my position since my very first lesson. It’s been a very long road of rearrangement, but we’ve finally got the stage where we can actually get some work done – there’s no such thing as a quick fix!
We started off in walk, and did a lot of work on rhythm, tempo and removing tension. First off all, Saf’s walk was very forward, but short and choppy. I started working on using my seat to get her walk slowed down to really separate each 1,2,3,4 beat. It took a lot of concentrate as at any opportunity (a slightly downhill part of the field) Saf wanted to go back to her choppy walk.
Relaxation and rhythm achieved, we worked on some trot transitions. Some more positional alterations and a completely different way of feeling in the rising trot – I need to put a lot more of my weight into my stirrups (like I’m standing on the floor) and rise a lot less (an inch off the saddle). I lock my ankles when I rise (a defensive mechanism due to having very hypermobile ankles) so lots of work to do for this to become the norm. We worked on slowing my rising, and then did some sitting trot. I need to remember to do less, and really relax my hips (I tense everything and prevent Saf’s back coming up to me).
We had some lovely strides on trot where we achieved relaxation and rhythm, correct bend and correct flexion – felt amazing! Finally we experimented with a little medium trot, just to check that Saf was happy to lengthen in the new relaxed state. You know when you have one of those lessons, and it really makes your day? Well this was it!