Tuesday Evening Diary – a lengthening of the stirrups, a little canter and the box

You may remember a few weeks ago I lengthened my stirrups with Alfie to assume a more “dressage” seat with a longer leg. It took me a few rides to adjust but I love it now. So tonight, I felt I was ready to lengthen them with Martini.

The first thing I notice, my ankles feel more relaxed. Then I realize that my ouchy hip isn’t so ouchy. We do our warm up while I get the feel of having more of my leg on him. It’s a different sensation for sure but I’m proud of myself for all the hard work I’ve put into this, to progress like this. 😊

So after our warmup, it’s time to trot. Now the first time I trotted with the longer stirrups with Alfie, I felt like my legs were just flapping all over the place. Tonight, they felt a little loose but not like they felt the first time so yay for me for getting stronger! 👍🏻

What I did notice while we were trotting was the leg fatigue I get seemed to come on sooner in the lesson. I know over time my legs will continue to get stronger and I won’t lose steam so quickly.

We switched gears after trotting and went into cantering. Now folks…it’s been several months since I’ve last cantered. It’s not like riding a bike where you always remember what to do, and Martini the amazing lad that he is, took care of me when I asked for the canter but wasn’t 100% sure of myself. The first canter attempt didn’t work. But that’s ok, I tried again. That time we got a few steps but still not successful. The third attempt was really nice, we cantered down the long side of the arena, and after he stopped cantering we went into a nice trot.

Although the canter was good, I was still hesitant. We try it again and Martini takes one step of the canter and I bring him back to the trot. I tell my trainer it’s me, I’m nervous. This happens to me on occasion, where I get into my head and the doubts and fears creep around. So my trainer Kari tells me, one more canter and then we are done cantering. She’s a great trainer and knows how far to push when she really knows I can do it. So I suck it up, put my big girl pants on and bang out a beautiful canter.😊

After that, it’s a few laps around the arena for me to catch my breath, and we attempt the intro to dressage test we’ve been working on. At this point my legs are tired, but I give it a try. We got maybe half the test at a trot the rest at a walk. There were parts that were really nice, and other parts that weren’t but each time I try it I get better.

We end our lesson working on the box exercise followed by turns on the haunch. I did some amazing turns on the haunch, basically where I start to make part of the box but end up turning the horse all the way around, like a little pirouette, Martini is very well trained at this exercise if you know how to ask him for it.

It’s funny – I think back 5 years ago when I started taking riding lessons. So many friends of mine questioned my sanity when I took up a hobby where I could get seriously injured. Tennis and golf were suggested to me because of my age. So when I have those moments where the doubts and fears get into my head, I tell myself that I chose this adventure I’m on to fulfill my childhood dream and that the amount of courage I have is way more than those who’ve played it safe with golf.❤️🐴

Martini the magnificent.

Published by Judy Bennett

I am a middle aged married woman who finally was able to make her childhood dream come true. In 2016 I purchased my first horse - a beautiful older gent that I named Alfie. This blog is dedicated to everyone who loves horses and wants to see the good, the bad and the ugly of learning how to ride.

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