So today my lesson was done entirely on the lunge line. No reins at all though I was allowed to grab mane if I felt the need. We alternated between stirrups and no stirrups though Jessica said the difference in my position between when I took up my stirrups and when I dropped them was pretty drastic. (better without) We did that walking and trotting. Then she had me close my eyes (here's where hanging on to something came in handy because if I didn't, I felt a bit of vertigo like I was about to fall off without anything to look at. Jessica says I'm relying too much on what my eyes tell me instead of what my body's telling me).
Then she let me take my stirrups back and open my eyes and we did some cantering. Then she let me still hold mane with one hand but with the other I had to raise it straight up above my head which had the effect of making me sit up straight instead of hunching forward like I want to. Apparently also my heels come down and once again, my position improves dramatically. Apparently it was so good Jessica was like, "WHY DIDN'T YOU BRING YOUR CAMERA TODAY?" Alas, I'd forgotten it at home.
Anyway, then she had me doing all that, and then I had to drop my stirrups while cantering. It was terrifying. Something in my brain said, "you're going to fall off if you do that" but of course, I didn't.
So we talked a lot about the need for me to develop a seat independent of my hands and for me to build up the muscle memory of what to do without having to "see" it and then take action. My homework for the week is to spend time riding without reins (and stirrups, if I can stand it) and do the raise an arm above my head thing.
6 days ago