|The chute to Mollie-Land|
I have been taking lessons about once a month, and my trainer is riding Mollie 1-3 times a week, depending on weather. The change in Mollie has been pretty amazing, and I can't wait to get someone out to get some pictures and videos soon. H was able to take a couple snippets last week, but was busy getting after me to get my act together.
Anyways, lesson. It actually wasn't too cold that day (21 degrees and no wind!) and I started the lesson with H hopping on Mollie for a little bit. I'm overjoyed to watch her ride my horse, because while I was unsure if she'd really like her at first it's clear H truly enjoys riding Mollie, and Molls has never been so compliant and agreeable. I really try to take note of H's positioning when riding, that way I can translate it to my own riding, but I feel like I do struggle because our proportions are drastically different. H is roughly 8 inches taller than me, with much longer arms and legs. Sometimes I'll see her hands in a certain place but I feel like I can't replicate it because we're shaped so differently.
Once I got on the ride was pretty good, and I feel like we're making steady progress. One thing H is a stickler about is getting Mollie round and working before she even steps away from the mounting block. I really think it sets the tone and after thinking about it, it really doesn't make sense to spend any time working ineffectively. Because Mollie had already worked in hand, and with H, she was ready to go so we got to work pretty quickly with lots of trot work.
|Look, we got a quarter sheet that fits!!|
One of my favorite things about Mollie right now is that when I get her super soft and light in my hand, and working up in front of me, all it takes is me stretching up through my collarbones and she comes up into this swingy, bouncy little trot that is SO nice. I swear, this is why dressage people love dressage, and if the dressage haters could feel this feeling they'd be converts real soon. I was trying to be really attentive to my position, and keeping my "triangle" upright. This is something H talks about a lot, and if you think of the points of a triangle being your shoulders and top of your head, and constantly think about keeping it open and not collapsing any side, it really helps me get Mollie all the way through, as opposed to almost there.
Tracking left lately is harder than right, which is definitely new. Mollie gives in almost all the way in this direction, but is pretty good at getting me to think she's ok, and then a stride later the whole train comes off the tracks. There were a couple times I really got after her, and we had a discussion about ACTUALLY doing what I asked, when I asked, but overall nothing awful. I really need to remember to keep my upper body back and slightly to the right, putting the weight on her outside hind in this direction. You'll see in the video that she looks ok, but not totally through, which is evident when she flattens out, I can't get her right back, and we come back to walk. Work in progress, as always.
To the right things are just downright lovely. And I love it. It feels great to be able to just cruise around, and make minor corrections when Molls slips out of balance and have her right. there. In both directions I really need to work to keep my left hip more active, and that was pretty much the theme of this lesson. You'll see in the video that when she gets a little flat it's much easier to get her back together this way.
This week promises more single digit temps every night, and we're getting to the point in winter that I don't think it will ever end. Yesterday was in the upper 30s though, so there's hope!