Body Part of the Weekend? Shoulders

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So I am sitting at my computer trying to think of how to summarize our two lessons this weekend.  Had one with Ms. C on Saturday, and then attended a clinic at a friend’s farm on Sunday.  The only word that truly captured both lessons was shoulders.  Yes, that is correct, shoulders.

This girl still continues to make the rookie mistake with turning her horse: overuse of the inside rein.  I even know better than to do it, but it is like a crutch that I just can’t stop using.  Of course, that inside rein does nothing to help Ike to turn his shoulders so even though we are turning in one direction, Ike’s outside shoulder is headed in the opposite direction.  When I do remember to turn the front end, I usually let Ike’s hind end drift out.  Sheesh, it is hard to be perfect.

So at both lessons, there was a lot of discussion about moving Ike’s shoulders – use the outside rein and leg…stop over pulling with that inside rein…LOOK where you are going.  I often feel bad for those teaching me.  They must get weary of repeating the same things over and over and over again.  Like a record that hit a scratch and you just keep hearing the same line until you move the needle.  I am hopeful that one day it will all sink in and become second nature.

Ms. C had me ride the entire short end thinking as if I was going to turn down centerline.  Ah, that visual clicked with me and I rode a proper short end.  Later in the lesson, poor Ms. C asked me, “How did you ride that last short end?”  I’m pretty sure it was a rhetorical question since I am certain that I rode it incorrectly or she would not have brought it up.  Guess I still need more time for that idea to sink in to my grey matter.

When it comes time to canter, it gets even more difficult to control Ike’s shoulders.  He can be rather bullish and strong.  I grab hold of that inside rein like a SOS strap.  On Sunday, we worked on me letting go of that rein and half halting with the outside rein.  Oh, look at that, our canter improved when I did that.  I could pretend that I am shocked, but no one would believe that.

Ike and I are taking a well deserved day off today.  We will get back to work tomorrow and I will try to remember not to forget about those shoulders.

 

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