Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Picture Perfect.

I had my regular weekly riding lesson tonight with W, and was lucky enough to both snag the fancy DSLR from work along with my BF to play photographer for a couple of hours. I admit, I now want to drive to the barn and spend hours just photographing Moon's gorgeous face, but for now, I'll appreciate the 300 photos the BF took...

However, in all appreciation, they really highlight some riding faults I'm having. In many of the pictures, my new saddle looks too small. I'm practically sitting on the cantle of it...until you realize my legs are far in front of me. Except in the first pictures, I'm never sitting in the 'sweet spot' of the saddle! And whenever I'm not, my legs are in the wrong position! And my upper body is either tipped forward or I'm sitting on the cantle.

Hmmmm...something very obvious and important to work on there!

I can also see a TON of tension in my body. Moon is never relaxed as I'd love to see him, and I can see how badly I'm bracing through my own upper body and legs. Let's add in that my right foot is CONSISTENTLY turned out, so my toe is sticking out. My feet are not level in most of the pictures and that right foot and calf just seem awkward and out of place.

Despite these flaws in the pictures, I'm really happy both with what I see and how today felt. Moon at a walk is actually seeking contact. I can slowly give more and more rein and he will continue to get longer and lower. This is awesome. He's also starting to 'know' what I'm going to ask and leading me through the patterns without a lot of my help. I thought this was bad, W thinks it's great. He's learning and memorizing. We'll argue that one later.

We had some trouble spots and I REALLY need to find a way to start relaxing in the saddle. It's my obvious issue point, and it needs serious correction if we're to progress. I need to be sinking down into the sweet spot of the saddle, flowing with my body and RIDING not trying to shove him into a little package I want.

He was much softer and rhythmic then usual. Much like yesterday, he just went really well overall. We need some improvement on him drifting out on the open end of the circle, but I can say that he did some nice 15 m circles for me. At the end he was tired and pushing back when asked to leg yield, but he also did a ton of shoulder-fore and some good tries for shoulder-in.

I remain beyond pleased with how he's conditioning. His body shape is much improved from last year, and even the farrier could see a difference. He's a happy boy and really just does well with all the work. I wish I could say the same for myself!

W left me with homework to practice our sitting trot, by posting 10 strides, sitting until it becomes unbalanced, and then regrouping in the posting trot. This will be a challenge, as W said, I need to be loose like spagetti. I'm not loose. : P Unfortunately, if I don't get out to ride tomorrow, Mr. Moon will go unridden for nearly a week. *sigh* So much for forward progress. I hope he enjoys the time off to mend and build up the muscle I've been working down.

I will finish by saying that I LOVE this new camera though I need to spend time learning how to use its features to the fullest. It's a Nikon D3100 and I'm dreaming of one for christmas.

P.S. Check out the lovely new saddle on Mr. Moon. Yes, my girth doesn't match, but hey, neither do my stirrups.

P.P.S. I love my dog to no end, so you get a few photography attempts of her as well! : )


  1. Gorgeous arena! I've never ridden in one of those big tent structures. The light is amazing. That arena looks huge! You could set up a pretty awesome jump course in there...

  2. OMG Look at that arena ... jealous!! Great pictures it sounds like a great ride.
    Your dog is gorgeous. :)

  3. Great pictures. You two look good together. I find pictures and videos a great learning tool.

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  4. Nice photos, is the arena as large as it looks? I've always wondered what it would be like to ride in one of those. Last photo is great, I like the reflection of your cute dog's nose!

  5. Your dog is so cute!!

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