Monday, June 30, 2014

Cantering on Chester

 I was riding well today, sitting up straight with my heels down, and posting on the correct diagonal almost the entire time. Meghan only had to correct me a few times, but a couple times I noticed myself and changed it right away. I was riding Chester in the bridle I bought him. It fit him well, but I did need to adjust a few things. Before I tacked him I had put him in the round pen to let him run off any extra energy if he hadn't been ridden over the weekend, but he didn't do anything other than walk around.

 I started the lesson by trotting along the long side of the dressage arena, then started a trot serpentine when I reached C. It was great! Meghan didn't have to correct me on my posting diagonal or my position. In fact she's having to correct me less and less. I rode Chester on several serpentines before taking a short walk break because it was very hot today.

 I then rode a few other serpentines, this time walking in between each circle and picking up the trot only a couple steps later before I had to turn to make my next twenty meter circle. Some of  transitions were a bit sloppy, but a few great: I stopped on time and began trotting just moments later. Then I began to trot along the perimeter of the dressage arena. After going around, I crossed the diagonal of the arena, heading from K to M so that I could change directions and start heading left. At H I once again crossed my diagonal to start heading right again.

 Meghan and I both soon noticed that Chester was becoming a bit irritated, tossing his head, which she said was because his pad with inserts that helped his saddle to fit better had slipped forward a bit and now longer supported the back of the saddle, making him uncomfortable. Before continuing, I dismounted and Meghan adjusted the pad.

 I then got back on and picked up the trot once more. After doing just a lap, Meghan put a longeline on Chester. Because I have been progressing so quickly these past couple weeks, she thinks I ready to do more cantering. I started by walk-trot a couple circles to the right, then left, and finally started a circle to the right again to begin cantering. I was apprehensive about cantering; I was worried that I would fall off, so I held the pommel of the saddle and sat back when he cantered. I cantered several times, doing it a few few strides at a time. I have to work on relaxing and not bracing my body when riding the canter. The second to last I was actually sitting deep in the saddle rather than being bumped up.
Here's a cantering picture! I was looking down most of the time, another problem.

 For the last set of canter strides that lesson, I asked for the canter, not Meghan, and I was a bit more relaxed. I'm determined now to be more relaxed and confident next time I canter and to not be worried about falling. Falling is part of riding and if I fall I will just get back on.

10 comments:

  1. Nice job! I also tend to get tense while cantering, but the more you practice the more relaxed you'll become! :)

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    1. Thanks! Practicing is the only way to get better and more comfortable doing something.

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  2. Awesome!! Cantering is so much fun, but definitely something to be a little apprehensive about. :)

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    1. Thanks. Yeah, it is a little scary, especially on a big horse.

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  3. Sounds like a great mindset!! The first time I cantered, it was while I was racing up a hill, haha! You'll get the hang of it and once you do, you'll be addicted to speed, haha!

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    1. Thanks! I'm sure I'll want to canter all the time when I more used to it.

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  4. Cantering can be intimidating at first but I'm sure you will feel very comfortable at it soon!

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