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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A lesson

I can't believe I didn't recognize my "muscle soreness" for TWO years for what it was - electrolyte cramping issues. I'm really good at staying hydrated, but obviously for me, the electrolyte thing is REALLY important. For two years I just thought that I was too out of shape and it was my fault. It also explains why getting off and walking/running doesn't help - that just depletes my electrolytes further.

TODAY (ie almost 10 days later), my calves FINALLY feel almost normal. Still a little tight, but not super angry. I'm lucky that my achilles didn't rebel.....but my right IT band decided it was NOT happy with my wincing around and decided to be a little bugger starting....yesterday. While on the back of one of my trainer's thoroghbreds. Right before my lesson.


Did I mention that I'm a wimp? Me and Farley are used to each and yes, that means that we can gallop across open fields bareback, ride in the dark, share instant oatmeal. With other horses......I'm a wimp. It doesn't take much before I start feeling uncomfortable, and cantering is the WORST. Maybe because I rode standardbreds so much when I was first learning to ride, but I just don't get the canter.

So imagine my suprise when I told my instructor, as involentary grunts of pain escaped, that we needed to canter. And keep cantering. And just skip the trot altogether. So off I went on a big train of a horse, trying to figure out how to steer the beast around a teensy tiny dressage arena while being tossed in the air approximately at the same height as commerial airflight cruising altitude, all while trying to cue the canter.

Zach is a wonderful schoolmaster. He has a kind soul...but not a generous one. Will he give me the canter because I happen to be seconds away from blowing my own leg off in pain? Absolutely not! "Nope." "Nope.", he says. "Nope.....close enough!" - and then off we go in something that feels like: One, Two, shuffle-shuffle; One, Two, shuffle-shuffle.

"Fix the canter", my trainer shouts.

Oh sure.

Attempt to keep my inside leg at the girth, when all it wants to do is fold back as if drawn by an invisible cord attached to my butt - nasty, sneaking things those IT bands are. And at the same time organize this lumbering beast's canter (that in NO WAY resembles my arab's canter) into something that feels less like a carasole ride and more like a freight train - albeit a freight train that is free in the neck and back.

Oh sure.

"More forward and release the rein towards his neck".

Right......I'm pretty sure the only thing keeping me in the saddle right now is God's hand pushing my head downward, somewhere in the vacinity of my saddle.

I finally find my rhythm and use the back of my saddle to guide my butt INTO the saddle. Belly button first, legs at the girth, eyes up and we are RIDING.

Apparently we look good enough that my trainer promises that we won't be completely embarrassing as a First Level pair.

So apparently dressage math is:

Training level rider+2nd/3rd level horse = 1st level dressage show.

We shall see.

1 comment:

  1. Laughing about your standie/canter comment...after THREE YEARS of dressage lessons, Dory told me that Fee and I *would* do canter figure-8's. And dang it, we did!

    T'wasn't purty. But we did it! And there were plenty of witnesses (but no cameras).

    It's still the thing we do worst.


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