For a Good Lesson
I took a good hour and a quarter to get to the clinic today. It is a moderately long drive, but did every traffic signal on Highway 130 and Route 206 have to turn red as I approached?
Traffic wasn't great either. Poor Tucker was all sweated up by the time we got there, probably because I kept having tractor trailers either on the left of me, or behind me. I would think if I were a horse in a trailer, one of those big rigs rumbling past or right back of me would be pretty disturbing.
That said, Tucker was also a little bit silly in the new surroundings, and took a while to settle in. I opted for the outdoor ring as he seemed ready to jump at every sound in the indoor. Now, mind you, his overall behavior is 100% better than it was a year ago, so I really can't complain. It's just that I have a lot of baggage about his old scary bucking habits, and am never quite sure is isn't going to revert.
Our lesson was just walk/trot, and fine with me as trying to keep my seat exactly as Patrice wanted it was more of a mental challenge than anything. Once more, we were working on centering and she broke down every element of exactly how I had to use just about every part of my body to get the right response from Tuck.
Trying to get my pelvis angled just right, my back straight, my abdominal muscles working correctly, my elbows in, my hands with the correct contact, my shoulders aligned...and so on....took a lot of concentration. It is a matter of sitting very vertical and evenly balanced.
I have a habit of arching my back a little when I sit up straight, and that pushes my hips a little more forward than they should be. Getting the correct feel and then kind of "draping" around the horse is a bit tricky, but I must say Tucker is a good boy about all of it and definitely does react when I do it all right.
However, it was actually easier at the trot, as when I did everything right, Tucker's trot slowed down and developed some suspension...and conversely, the only way to get his trot to slow and elevate as to do everything right.
If I can retain a good portion of what I learned today, I'll be making some great progress.