Tuesday, December 20, 2011

another Keil Bay ride

Happy to report another good ride on Keil Bay this evening. He came in and met me at his back door and licked and chewed his way through the entire grooming and tacking up process. In the arena we did a long walking warm-up and then eased into some trotting. We did some shoulder in at the trot and it felt good - lots of suspension tonight in the SI and regular trot work.

I've broken another 'rule' of riding and am holding the whip in my outside hand. I have trouble managing the inside rein and the whip together and finally decided that I would do what works best for me and not what everyone says is the proper thing to do. It worked.

Another good leap forward for me is that I think I finally have some ability to isolate my hips when riding. Maybe I had it all along but just didn't know how to use it? Not sure. But over the past few weeks I have been doing something new with my seat that is working really well. It's subtle and I'm not sure how to explain what exactly I'm doing but Keil Bay is responding instantly to it and since his training is more impeccable than mine I think I must have hit on something fairly advanced. :)

Part of what is making it work is that I am stepping evenly into both stirrups and also focusing on NOT hollowing my back. At some point when I started getting better at these two things, i.e. not having to constantly remind myself, the seat thing clicked in and Keil Bay clicked in too.

He's probably thinking - FINALLY! - she gets it. At least a little piece of it!

And I'm back to riding without half chaps. I go through phases where I really like them, and then I go through phases when I want to feel my leg right up against Keil's barrel. Right now I'm wanting the feel of the leg to be pure. Another telltale sign that I'm doing something different (and in this case I do think it's better) is that I can feel the pull in the muscles in my hips when I ride. I'm sitting (I think) more correctly and using my core more effectively and I can feel it.

So happy to be winding down 2011 with some great rides. And looking forward to 2012.


Grey Horse Matters said...

It all sounds good. I think you have probably hit on something in your riding that is different and Keil Bay is loving it. Now if you could just bottle that and send it up here, I'd appreciate it.

billie said...

A, I wish I could bottle it for MYSELF too - I'm waiting for it to just disappear! But yes, I think something clicked in some way or other and things are being communicated between my seat and hips more effectively. It probably also has to do with my hands gradually getting steadier. A bunch of little things that when put together make for a big shift. I am just suddenly quite cognizant of my seat bones and what they are doing. And they seem to be doing what I *think* they're doing, which as we know is not always true of our body parts when in the saddle. :)

Being able to use the seat means I am not torquing myself when aiding - I definitely feel straighter. For all I know the two chiropractic tracks Keil Bay and I have been on are finally converging into our joints coming into harmony! But def. something is different and sooooo much better.