Had my first lesson today in months. Usually my lessons are pretty tough due to my great instructor and I finish them feeling great about myself and my riding but my muscles screaming. I knew that wasn't possible today because my leg muscles just aren't strong enough yet after my knee replacement.
I went to physical therapy yesterday and they feel I am getting close to discharge so want to "take it up a notch". I think they took it up four notches! Physical therapy is certainly humbling. I don't like to quit but I was thinking hard about lowering the speed on the treadmill. Instead I just kept counting down the minutes and hoped I would make it to the end. I did. Barely.
So I was a bit nervous about my first lesson back. I wanted it to go well but was afraid that my endurance wouldn't be there. I asked my instructor to ride him for the majority of the lesson and that I would get on for the last fifteen minutes or so.
Golly is out of shape and out of practice too so it was going to be tough on us both. She worked on getting a good bend and suppleness while she was riding. Lots of serpentines and getting suppleness in the neck and making the hind leg step under and push.
Watching my instructor ride today is a weird mix of pride in my horse who looks SO nice when she rides him (especially after not being ridden for so long) and jealousy that I can't get him that way. Mostly though I am just glad we get the benefit of her instruction and watchful eye.
After she rides Golly feels SOOO good. Supple and light - responsive! When I got on we focused on the same thing she did. She asked me to think about stepping to the outside (even though I wasn't actually) while walking and trotting circles by keeping a firm rein on the outside and using the weight of my inside hip to create the bend. I used the whip on the inside hind leg to make sure the hind leg was stepping and powering the movement. She had to remind me multiple times to not use the leg and whip at the same time. Keep the leg light when using the whip and use the whip like I mean it to get a response. I tend to kick at the same time I use the whip so this will take some repetitive reminding on her part.
The temps this Sunday are supposed to be in the 70s. Remarkable for a January day in Maryland! Its just too tempting so I sent out an email to my friends and we are going to try a trail ride at our local park. One friend has promised to help me get on using a picnic table since I can't get on from lower heights yet. How I am getting off I don't know yet as right now I am using my very high mounting block to dismount. I guess I will figure that out after I am on!