If you remember my last post about riding Karaat I was doing fairly well toward the end but hands were still a bit messy and LOTS of room for improvement.
I asked Jodie for another lesson and she is always happy to give me one. This time no pictures as husband had some piano lessons to give and couldn't come with.
Jodie started me out on lunge line without reins, and Karaat in side reins. I controlled his gait's, speed and contact, and Jodie just kept him from taking off out the door.
We started with some stretching exercises for me; arm windmills, bicycle legs, crunches (yes in the saddle), shoulder stretches (right hand to my left toe/left hand to my right toe) etc.
At the walk we worked my loosing my hips, calves on but relaxed and fluid ankles by sitting deep and on my back pockets, then standing up in the stirrups body just a bit over Karaat's withers. When I sat back down in the saddle he immediately went round and through.
Jodie then had me move him up into a nice working trot, me rising. Eye opening not having reins... but more on that later. We worked on me always picking up the correct diagonal, or immediately recognizing it's incorrect. Remember I rode Western Pleasure for 10 years and never ever once posted until about 5 years ago. It does NOT come natural at all. With-in 5 minutes I had it figured out.. at least I hope so.
What we worked on at the rising trot was controlling my posting, landing lightly and in the middle of the saddle. This is NOT easy at all. However, I love Karaat he's extremely forgiving while you figure it out and rewarding when you do. I was able to consistently get Karaat round, supple and through. It's a great to feel that back come up under you and your mount reaching under. Jodie said I had a HUGE grin, I have to admit I was smiling huge having a blast!
Sitting trot was interesting... This is where I had a huge revelation about my hands and reins that I never realized until the reins were taken away. For the most part my hands are steady and not yanking or busy, until I get tired, then they get a mind of their own and start rising.. straight up instead of low and inline with the horses mouth. Then if I loose my balance I'm bracing against the horses head... BAD BAD habits! So because of this I did not canter him and I won't until I stop bracing when I loose my balance.
There will be more no contact or limited contact riding in my immediate future.
We ended the lesson going for a walk around the farm's property and with Jodie giving me permission to RIDE Karaat AT A SHOW for my Intro A and B tests later this month!