Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A riding lesson — with video!

Posting trot on my horse, Panama, during a horseback riding lesson

I had a riding lesson today, and I actually remembered for once to give my trainer my camera! It's been a while since I've had someone take pictures of me and Panama, so I hope you enjoy these as much as I did.

She also got a few videos of me trotting. In this first one, I'm practicing my post. It's a lot better than it used to be, but it still needs work. One thing I'm working on right now is sitting two beats to change my diagonal when I'm crossing the arena — I'm not very comfortable with a sitting trot, so I always feel out of control by the second beat. It doesn't look as dramatic on camera as it feels on his back, but I still would like to get better at it.

You can't really hear what I'm saying very well at the beginning — my trainer wanted me to ask Panama to trot without clucking, but he didn't respond at first, so I squeezed harder and then clucked, too. Which of course he responded to by overcompensating and launching into a faster trot than I wanted, so through that first turn, I'm coaxing him back down into a slower trot.

The next video is of me practicing my two-point at the trot. This is something I only started learning over the summer, and I haven't practiced it enough yet, so it is a lot sloppier than my posting is. My trainer pointed out that I was letting my butt get too far back and as a result, hanging on Panama's mouth in order to balance myself. Also, a few times I slipped into posting a little bit. I also find leg yields really challenging in the two-point, so obviously I need lots more practice in this department!



At February 3, 2010 at 7:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two points is coming along! To post, you might try dropping your stirrups a hole - your leg is getting a bit out in front of you - you want your leg to drape so you're using the horse's motion to push you up in the post rather than having to use your legs to push yourself up. If Panama lunges, have someone (your trainer?) lunge you while you post with no reins - that'll cure the hanging on the mouth thing as there's no mouth to hang on! Looks like a lot of progress!

At February 3, 2010 at 7:55 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Thanks, Kate! I certainly feel like I've made a lot of progress. Even in my two-point, as sloppy as it still is.

Interestingly, you said the exact opposite of what my trainer says -- she wants me to control my post with my legs and abs, rather than just letting the motion of the horse bounce me up every time. Another example of how widely opinions can differ in the horse world, I suppose. :o)

At February 3, 2010 at 10:23 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

When I have students having trouble with two point here is what I do. First of all lots of two point at the walk. You gotta build that muscle memory.
Posting try and use from your knee to your hips/abs. Knee down, be still. You need to lift yourself up but let the horses strides guide when you rise/fall don't rely solely on the horse.
At a trot sit four strides, post four and two point for four. Repeat over and over and over. Works like a charm every time. Gives your body a rest from doing two point constantly. A very, very good tool to try.
Looking good ;P

At February 3, 2010 at 11:25 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Thanks for the input, Sydney! I've used a similar exercise before -- switching back and forth between posting and two-point -- but I haven't included the sitting trot before. Not a bad idea, given that of the three, I'm least comfortable with a sitting trot.

I know everyone likes to give tips, but I want to be sure everyone knows that I do have a very good trainer. Just because I'm not doing something right doesn't mean she's not coaching me correctly, it just means I haven't gotten there yet. I don't have the advantage many of you do, of having ridden since childhood. This is a fairly recent thing for me, and it does take time.

It wasn't my intention to seek a lot of advice with this post, rather just to post some recent pictures and videos of my riding. I hope everyone understands that I'm not trying to be mean, I just want to be clear that I trust my trainer's judgment and guidance.


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