Sunday, April 15, 2012

Déjà vu



I hadn’t realized it has been about five months since I’ve really ridden after my fall in November.  When I was able I did get on Blue for a walk around the indoor but that was all I did with him.  I’ve been mainly longeing Blue and Dusty trying to get them in shape.  Dusty is coming along nicely and I’ve been riding her at the walk to build up her stamina and strengthen her muscles. Blue is still overweight and not fit enough for any extensive lessons just yet.

I rode Dusty this weekend and she hasn’t forgotten anything she’s been taught in the past.  You’d think she never had a year off.  On the other hand Blue was not into being ridden at all but we took a few turns around the arena anyway.  He was as slow as molasses running uphill but we made it through.

Well enough about the horses.  I actually bit the bullet and had my daughter video me (said video will never see the light of day except by me or a blind person).  I absolutely stand by videos as a testament to pointing out every single fault you could possibly make while riding.  I looked god-awful and felt it too.

My position was all wrong while riding Dusty. She’s just a little too comfortable and my legs were in the worst position and it seems I was also assuming the chair position with my seat. Not good.  When I got on Blue we worked on getting my position more secure.  Using my thighs and calves and not standing in the stirrups. I will be living in the two -point for a long while I’m afraid. Got my seat position right so that’s a plus.  Have you ever practiced posting at the walk very slowly…well it’s good for balance and leg strength so we did some of that too.

So the conclusion is: not only are the horses not fit for riding but neither am I.  It’s an ongoing process and I have to start the whole riding fitness regime again to gain back what I lost with a few months off.  Like Yogi Berra said “It’s Déjà vu all over again!”

Until next time
Quote for Today
There are only two emotions that belong in the saddle; one is a sense of humor and the other is patience.


  1. First of all--- love the quote!

    I am having chair seat issues my self. The key for me is to keep my lower leg back which means plenty of two point for me too! :) I am glad you are back in the saddle again!

  2. I think all athletes benefit from videos and riding is certainly an athletic sport. Good for you for having yourself video'd. And you'll have a good record of your progress and your fitness returns. I was asked yesterday what I plan to work on this week to improve my horsemanship with. So instead of saying I'll be working on side passing, or disengaging the hind quarters, or walk/trot transitions or canter departs, I said I'll be taking extra time to work out in the gym. I know I need to lose weight and improve my fitness to be the kind of rider my horse deserves.

  3. I simply have to get back into the riding routine. I need to be more fit anyhow and the horses should be doing something.

    Once again, I need motivation. Heaven help me if anyone took a video of my riding about now. I'd probably be scandalized.

    Love a trained horse like Dusty. Makes the day brighter all around.

  4. Videos are very good - it's hard to get a handle on this stuff without them. My biggest fault is I tend to lean forward and look down - I'm working on that.

  5. I love videos! They are for my own personal viewing, however. ;-) After viewing my most recent video, I apparently have the Lazy-Boy chair position when I lope. In fact, I am so out of shape, I look like a Lazy-Boy chair! Yikes! How wonderful that Dusty can pick up where she left off. Blue will get there.

  6. SO glad you're getting back in the saddle. Position and fitness will come with time, for you and the horses.

    That quote is my all time favorite, and one that it's good to repeat to ourselves often.

  7. That two-point position is a killer but magic for strength and balance if you can manage to walk away after a session without half collapsing to the floor.
    Videos are helpful but it does take some getting use to!

  8. It's good that you rode even if it's only for a short while.

    My horses and I are very out of shape because I haven't been riding much over the winter but I've found that they do remember everything just like I rode them yesterday.

  9. I'll make a deal with you. You get j to video you, K will video me, we'll trade, blindfold ourselves, watch each other, and critique. :)

    All I can say is that if I wait until I am perfectly fit to ride, that day might never come. When I go ahead and ride it feels wonderful and things get stretched out nicely by the time I get off again. (that said I am NOT doing two point with no stirrups! :0)


  10. I've got Apache and I signed up for back-to-back ACTHA rides this coming weekend even though we're both out of shape and she's only been ridden a few times this year so far.
    Each day's ride is 7 miles, but I know these trails well and they're mostly flat or gently rolling and I don't expect her to have to do anything but mozy down the trail at a slow walk.

    Apache really enjoys heading out on the trails and if I left her home, she'd just be mozying around our pastures anyway. And be terribly bored. Why not take her and I someplace new and interesting so we can have some fun together?

    I have never tried posting slowly at a walk. I'll have to try that. What a great idea!


  11. Oh, big ugh! I hate the video tape!! I used to have my instructor tape me and I couldn't believe it when I'd watch it back. But, it does help you make quicker progress to what you should be doing. At least you can see and understand it!! Best wishes getting in shape!! Kick some butt!!

  12. I have a feeling you will be back in shape in no time, muscle memory should kick in soon. I never thought about posting at a walk, that really sounds like a great work out! I wish I could try it. Someday soon, I hope. I totally get the whole video thing and the blind guy. It is good for the individual and maybe (big maybe) an instructor, other than that, eyes off. It's good you have it though so you can really see yourself progress.

  13. That fitness thing is a killer! It was hard when I first got Winston after not being able to ride Jackson in nine months. It does come back though -- and the scale is friendlier too. :)

  14. Good to hear you're back in the saddle ... and opted to be filmed - brave! Weird when you think you're doing it right till you see yourself -- still remember my 'ugh' moment when I watched myself!!

    Dusty is amazing - what else is there to say?! And Blue will get there, I'm sure. Hey, if I can lose weight, I'm sure he can too ;o)

    Good luck with the fitness thing!

  15. I find ditching the stirrups and riding bareback (at a walk) to be extremely helpful for fixing and/or deepening my seat (plus it's awesome for balance :o)

    I'm usually somewhere between surprised and impressed at how many things horses retain (that can be kind of a mixed bag though *laugh*).

  16. I love your quote for the day - the only emotions that belong in the saddle are patience and humor!!I'm going to remember that!!

    I laugh at your humorous writing - if I had a video of me no one would see it either!! Sometimes even photos point out to me how bad my posture is at any random moment. It's good to remind ourselves and then work on it personally. Bless our horses' hearts - for forgiving our posture problems!!

    The groundwork you've done is still very valuable- just as valuable, really, as riding. It gives you and the horse little exercises to work on, reading each other's language, etc, so it was time well spent. Now, transitioning to riding will bring new challenges. But you are up to it! Good work!!

  17. Good to hear you are riding again. You were brave to be videoed - I was ages ago and, while it was undeniably useful, my ego was dented somewhat! But then, horses do that to us all the time.

    Having recently started riding again after the winter, even after a short initial hack, I was sore.

  18. Go Dusty! And even if you feel out of shape, it's great that you just hopped on her and started riding. You're right about video being a cruel task-master. Nothing works faster to show me what I'm doing wrong and what I need to fix. I'm so glad Dusty is fully mended thanks to all your excellent nursing.


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