Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Communication Error

 Friday I had yet another lesson on Ronnie. Once again, she was frisky and even a bit spooky. She kept looking at a pallet that had recently been put on the side of the arena, spooking at it a couple times and swaying away from it when I didn't keep her looking to inside. As I rode I focused on keeping her focus on what we were doing, not the pallet.

Circle is cut small.
 We had quite of bit of communication error that day. I guess it's just one of those days when I'm not riding at my best. I had trouble mostly with not using my inside leg or calves, and I wasn't able to keep her cantering on a full 20 meter circle, which instead became more like 10 meters. I haven't had this trouble so much with the lesson horses and Chester, who are more chill with the rider not being completely correct because that is how they were trained. I really need to relax my knees so I can use my calf to push her over instead. Otherwise Ronnie becomes frustrated and confused. Any suggestions on how to relax the knee and use the lower leg and seat as support instead? It's the main thing I need to polish up about my riding right now.

 After working and improving a bit with communicating to Ronnie, I began my dressage test. Both of us seemed to be more focused and ready to get down to business. I thought to myself, "I need to try extra hard when doing the test." Ronnie seemed to respond,"Okay got it."
Leaning forward and using too much outside rein.
 The circles were more full and I was able to communicate better with her. The test ran fairly smoothly, except for when she freaked out a bit when I passed Mom, who had moved to another side of the arena to film. Meghan said that Ronnie was probably just using that as an excuse, because before I started the test I had turned Ronnie to show her where Mom was. I continued on. She swayed out a bot when I passed the pallet but didn't do anything naughty. I need to think more about his for my next lesson and what I did differently when things went well.

 I also need to work on relaxing my knee and using the lower leg and seat as support instead, so if you have any suggestions please let me know. Thanks! Merry Christmas to all my readers.


  1. I've found that (for me at least) my knees get tight only when my hips and calves are tight. So I do a lot of calf stretches before I get on (propping my leg up on a bench and stretching over) and a lot of leg swings to unlock my hips once I do get on (as long as you can do it safely - you can also try and do it on the ground if you have something to hold on to). Once I get those two areas warmed up and stretched out my legs seems to hang more naturally.

  2. hi paola! i have the same problem! i do a lot of stretches where i lift both legs up and out as if looking to do a splits sideways on the saddle. sometimes i even do that in the elevators at work or on the train on my way to work again. i even see how low i can get when i've got nothing to do but wait... hehehe

    in terms of sitting back more, my instructor had me sit the trot and lean back... to the point where i felt like it was too far but she told me when i had leaned back enough to be... straight. then she told me to keep it there. LOL. i still botch this up regularly but at least i got the feel for it.

  3. i forgot to add the absolute most effective way i've found to help me: no stirrup work and bareback. bareback especially jossles everything back in proper place!

  4. pinching my knees is one of my worst habits too - it's HARD to fix!! sometimes focusing on a different part of my leg helps loosen the knee up - like thinking about if my hips or seat are too stiff. anyways merry christmas to you too!


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