Saturday, December 3, 2016

Lesson Recaps

Katai has been perfecting her judgmental expression
Since I haven't posted in awhile but still want to sort of track what I'm learning I thought I'd post a few of the themes that we've been working on and then dig into the specifics as needed later.


Sit back! Shoulders back but mainly belly button back. I have a fair amount of forward curvature to my spine from my hips to my rib cage so I need to focus on pulling my belly button back and straighten my back more so I can really sit on my seat bones.

I need to carry my hands more forward in front of me. I also need to focus on holding (as needed) with my right hand and releasing (when appropriate) with my left hand since that's opposite what they want to do. I also found out that I also carry my left hand out, off the neck and my right hand against the neck but not enough for correct bend to the left (needs more) and opposite what I should be doing for the correct bend to the right. To correct this (since Katai is white) Jane wants me to think about getting white paint on the hand that's on the outside and keeping the inside hand clean.

I also tend to open my fingers when I want to give forward rather than giving from my elbows.

We've also found that I grip with the back of my calf on my right leg when I use my leg and need to use the inside of my leg instead and keep my toe pointed forward. I've been working on strengthening those muscles so that it's easier. Currently I'm too tired to continue to do this correctly through my entire lesson.

I've always known that I have a tough time sinking my weight through my left stirrup. We've discovered that I'm not weighting my left seat bone equally with the right. This causes me to drop my shoulder when turning/bending Katai to the right since I'm uncomfortable sinking my weight into that seat bone.

Trail walk on a nice sunny day


We've added lengthenings and I need to focus on pushing without quickening my posting tempo as well as giving forward from my elbows slightly.

We've also started doing some sitting trot. The main focus here has been on my position (above) and on controlling the bounce to control the temp and "bouncing" straight up and down instead of forward and back.

I'm really excited that we've added shoulder in and that we're doing it at the sitting trot! I mainly can feel this one (it's way easier for me than leg yield) but I need to focus on my position and shoulder vs hip angle. I also need to use my outside rein correctly to keep her moving forward and not let her get the angle too steep. Mainly though I need to sit back and keep my weight on my seat bones.

Canter is still coming along. I haven't been riding enough canter so when I get to my lesson we both get tired out pretty quickly. I mainly need to work on strength so that we can start to do more fun things than 20 meter circles and straight around the track of the arena. My seat continues to get better here and when she's not too tired her transitions from trot and tempo are really good.

First snow this year!


I've seriously learned so much about me and Katai and how we should function as a team from Jane since I've been working with her :) I made an offhand comment about how even though she could be sassy, I loved how steady and un-spookable she was during a ride where the snow was falling off the arena roof. Jane quickly pointed out that she doesn't actually think Katai is sassy. Just that she's a high achiever and when she's confused she lets us know and really wants to get it right. It's crazy how altering my thoughts about Katai and helping me think about her behavior in a different light completely changes how we interact.

I'm continuing to chew on some of this and alter my interactions with her. It's also weird to switch from her being a "baby" horse that doesn't know anything with me as the expert to a true partnership. I'm getting there for the most part but sometimes it's still tough to process.


I've been feeling a bit better. As the seasonal change has quieted down a bit and I've been more diligent about paying attention to how much vitamin D I'm getting it's been better. I also moved! I'm not sure if I'd previously mentioned this but my grandma moved to an apartment closer to my parents and they offered me a really amazingly low rate of rent to stay at her house and keep an eye on things. It's about 10 minutes closer to the barn and the exact same distance from work plus it's in a nicer neighborhood and I only have one roommate. I think the change in scenery is helping a bit as well. At any rate, it's certainly not hurting.

I'm also participating in the Equestrian Blogger Gift Exchange this year which is really exciting! I've been doing some sleuthing and ordered a couple of things during Black Friday. I'm looking forward to sending it out!

Unfortunately I'm still not feeling 100% and have been having a really tough time staying motivated to ride or blog or do much of anything really. Work is also going to be getting really busy over the next couple of months complete with a couple more trips to WA so I'm still not sure exactly how much I'll be able to post. I'm going to try to have more posts in December but I'll see how things go over the next few weeks.


  1. So many positive changes! I'm excited for you and Katai. Hang in there, this seems to be a tougher winter than normal for a lot of us, spring will be here sooner than we think!

    1. Thank you!!! I agree, I feel like this one has hit me way worse than last winter :( Yeah! Spring is only a few months away now :)

  2. Somehow we are twins. Riding twin horses. It's uncanny.

    1. It is so weird!! Crazy how similar we are and our horses are!