Monday, December 12, 2016

What We've Been Up To

Sitting on pockets, sitting on pockets
So, these past couple of months have been the most exciting for Bacon and I, in general. It has also been exciting in other ways (mom in hospital, water line breaking in house, husband passing out in bathroom, crazy old Romanian man hitting my little truck, and learning something about my past that really really haunts me, husband's little truck breaking down AGAIN) but we will just ignore those. More importantly, Bacon and I took our first couple of dressage lessons.
Uh oh, not sitting on pockets
Unfortunately, I have not been able to take any since after our show in Spokane, but I can't wait to get back to them. I chose a nice older gentleman from Switzerland who has had a successful career training dressage horses and pupils. He is firm, yet kind, and very understanding if I need a break (damn you Lyme). Lindsey has spent a great deal of time riding with him, and after watching a couple of his lessons, I thought I would give it a go. I was terrified.
Second lesson. Helping Bacon bend.
Not only was I worried about our lesson, it was also my first time driving our new truck. Oh, and my first time pulling a gooseneck trailer, which also happens to be ours. I had pictured myself destroying all the things, but we all arrived in once piece. I haven't told trainer E that I haven't taken any dressage lessons yet, but he caught on to us right away. First off, why was I moving so much? In his words: "You look like you are trying to out walk your horse. Don't do that." Ok, check. Guess what. That is really hard to do. I always imagined keeping my hips loose, but apparently I was in ho-status, not dressage status. Secondly, sit on my back pockets. I like to arch my back to pretend to sit tall, but that is causing me to brace in my back and stick my sad ass out. He said that that style of riding probably doesn't help my stamina either. Nope, probably not.
Bending. Trying to not pull with left hand.
We worked on Bacon having a more correct, slower, walk. Staying soft in the elbows. And we worked on turns on the forehand to help activate her hind end a little more. In the trot it was much the same. Quit moving. Tuck your ass in and place a small curve the opposite direction in my back. Don't stay tense, but stay strong in my core. We even worked on sitting trot, which was terribly difficult for me, but it got so much better with him in a short amount of time. Most of our time was spent at the trot. Bacon was a pretty good girl for her first visit there, and I felt a little dumb after our first lesson. My instructor did not cause that feeling, I just felt like I had let him and Bacon down with my poor riding. But that just made me more determined to get better.
Uh oh. Left hand got crazy.
Our second lesson was in the indoor. Which was good and bad. Good because Bacon needs more time in indoors and to learn to deal with distractions. Bad because there were so many distractions. You know, like tractors putting hay in the barn right next to the indoor, a horse getting a floating on the other side of the wall, pressure washing of the aisles, etc. She was pretty tense and heavy, but we still got some good work in. We did a few of the same things from the previous lesson to warm up, but then right to work on doing more. When Bacon is distracted, we can no longer bend. So we worked and worked and worked on that, trying to push her body out with keeping her head in the direction it should be going. She is a master at looking at whatever and still somehow going in a circle. He also discovered my demon left arm. It constantly wants to grab a hold of the rein and not let go, which doesn't do anything. We ended with leg yields against the wall and some cool down time for my lungs.
First time I have ever felt her get that tired! She is not used to jumping so many jumps in a row.
We have also been adventuring off to do some jumping with friends. We have done a couple of grid sessions, added a few random jumps, and even did two conditioning rides. One of those may have involved watching a friend fracture her femur, so that day was a little rough. But I have really been enjoying riding Bacon elsewhere to really allow her to just go forward instead of going in circles over and over. She has been impressing me with her willingness, even though she has been extra snorty and spooky and I enjoy every chance I get to hop on her. Which may not be for a while now because my whole street is a sheet of ice. But I am really hoping to get out more next year. I really love having my own big truck!
Good girl Bacy!

27 comments:

  1. Dressage is deceptively hard! It looks so easy then you try to do it and I always manage to try to turn myself into a pretzel. Bacon looks fantastic tho!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I feel you on the demon left arm. My instructor called mine "narcissistic" over the summer... Ughhh. Why must we suffer from rogue appendages? You and Bacon look super though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He would yell out "I can see your arm muscles bulging!". Whoops.

      Delete
  3. So many good things! Starting to ride with a new trainer is always intimidating, but I'm so glad you are doing well in the new program and learning a lot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have been wanting to take lessons for forever, and I feel so lucky that I have gotten too!

      Delete
  4. "sad ass" ... I have one of those. ^.^ And I have total "ho-status" too. "STOP MOVING YOUR HIPS!" is what I hear all the time. Whoops! I guess there's loose and then there's slut-loose. My bad. You guys look great and these lessons sound like they'll totally pay off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Loose hips also make me look drunk on the horse too. It's just all bad.

      Delete
  5. I have to be honest, pretty much every time I see Bacon I do the Beggin Strips "Oh Boy! Oh boy! Yum-num-num-num-num! It's Bacooooon!". Seems appropriate.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You guys are doing awesome! So excited for when you come out next year! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. boo for friend breaking femur, but yay for everything else!! dressage lessons have this funny way of pointing out all these wrong things that i didn't even know i was doing.... but they're so worth it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lots and lots of "whoops" were being said. I had no idea until he pointed it out.

      Delete
  8. ooo that first picture. so dressagey. What you talk about with your lower back is something I used to struggle with constantly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now if I could just do that all of the time. That would be great.

      Delete
  9. Damn elbows, they've been troubling me too. You guys look like you are having a great time together (As you should!). And all that other stuff you're trying not to think about, I hope it gets better.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sounds like a hectic time!! Yay for lessons!! That dressage stuff is so much harder than it looks. Love the pictures <3

    ReplyDelete