Monday, 26 May 2014

Lovely lunchtime Lorna lesson

So lesson at lunchtime I do love my boy so, pop him out in the morning and he willingly comes over to come in at 12:00 even though it must mean work

So am on board and Lorna arrives asks what we've been up to, so go over hacking, Tom Graham and Balanced Rider

Lorna points out the walk has little energy it isn't marching if we are going to improve his suppleness then it needs to be a good quality walk that is going somewhere 

So basically when left to my own devices as time goes on between lessons I agree with C that we'll slob along 

How many times has Lorna said about a marching walk, how many times has SFO said more energy?

So rule of thumb if he doesn't break to trot then we may well be slobbing

GOAL FOR THE WEEK: Active marching walk

Still need to watch left hand on right rein it holds too much possibly compensating for weaker left leg?

On and back in trot, good crisp halts 

GOOD STUFF: Lorna noticed improvement in leg position, boy was more forwards with no whip, trot is improving 



Sunday, 25 May 2014

The Balanced Rider

Yesterday I set off with three others to

it was a revelation and probably the best £30 I have spent on a clinic

We started off with a brief look at Harry the skeleton and a talk about common rider issues and a chat about use of the core and how ubiquitous using your core has become.

We then did exercises on gym balls that highlight sidedness and help you to use your abdominal muscles and how to even yourself up.

Also explored sitting in neutral on gym ball

So exercises were

1/ Sit on ball legs facing forward, lift one leg, then lift other leg. The leg that is easiest to lift (my left) is your weaker leg, it is easier because your strongest leg is on the ground

2/ Hula hooping your hips on the gym ball (good as a warm up)

3/ Shoulders on gym ball, knees bent lift a leg

4/ Lie sideways on gym ball, add in lift upper leg

5/ Lie face down tummy on gym ball all limbs off floor

Revelation here for me was HOW to move my shoulders back and down One at a time in a circling motion Second HUGE lightbulb moment was Kim's advice to correct crookedness off the horse and when on the horse just ride

Lots of laughing and falling off!

Then moved onto Legless their Racewood dressage simulator or stimulator as some gave called in when phoning to book

You may remember the awful lesson I had at Cullinghood with the awful lacking in empathy no real understanding of biomechanics hectoring person

Well chalk and cheese

So good stuff I sit in neutral spine, no collapse right in a good posture I don't have hands that caused Chorrie's injury but my left leg is locked and there is no softness in knee or ankle

I compensate by tipping pelvis slightly

Muscle is very tight from knicker line down for about a hand's breath so Kim had me moving my leg away a couple of centimetres alternately she did a bit of hands on and it freed off Totally amazeballs

I have got here before with SFO but of course it then tightens up again over time I have a specific exercise to do to loosen it off.

Can't wait to go back

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Hacked first time in SIXTEEN years!

So today I started on hacking Chorrie out.

I've never hacked Chorrie and I've owned him seven years I've not hacked out for about sixteen years all told.

So a walk up to the XC field with Jane as a foot soldier.

Spent about five minutes up there, in hindsight it would have been sensible to have had Jane ride him up there first.

Walked home on foot.

Going out again Friday

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Sunny Schooling

Lovely morning warm and first session of the year in a polo top :-)

Halts are much improved and much softer to the contact.

Walk -> Trot transition much sharper (not carrying a whip), being fully committed to transition makes it a better transition

Trot feels more forward from the start, need to remember however to swing in the trot so he swings in the trot.

Pirouette on left rein so counter flex right and pirouette around left hind to end up on right rein are improving in walk and OK in trot.

Pirouette on right rein so counter flex left and pirouette around right hind to end up on left rein is sticky but improving  must  remember to start as a volte change bend then piri, to help him round. In trot is 'rustic' but he is maintaining the trot now so progress

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Tom Graham @ Duttons 10th May Lesson 2

Disclaimers Turn on forehand and pirouettes are descriptive labels for me, not the classic movements you might expect to see.

Why we are doing what we are doing TOF is to improve bend, piri to engage outside hind, aim of both is to supple Chorrie as that is the huge factor in the lack of forwardness.

Take homes (my words not Tom's) I need to pay attention to detail so it is a good thing I now have brain space to notice rein back is not straight (first time was just glad I could quicken it) so notice it and correct it, not just mention it and carry on. Bit like the transition to trot , if the contact isn't good then the transition is unlikely to be too. So set him up so he can do his best.

I need a more positive attitude if I ask for trot then I must expect trot with every fibre of my being not be half assed about it. Insist and persist and be consistent.

Don't chase him forwards, supple him and help him by setting him up and swing in the trot so he too can swing in the trot

Could do the giravolta in hand before mounting


So started off by showing Tom our much improved halts, need to watch he doesn't bear down on the contact as we go to halt needs to be forward to the halt with the contact staying 'true' . So I need to pay more attention to detail (my words not Tom's!)

Explained to Tom that I thought I'd lost the feel of the TOF exercise, so Tom showed us how from the ground I need to think of the TOF more as a giravolte.

Added in a new exercise half a walk pirouette with counter flexion, need to ride the shoulders round (have tendency when doing it from right rein to left to ride the 1/4s too much and get Chorrie stuck) start by riding a volte then counter bend and pirouette, important to then leg yield to track to reinforce.

Exercise 1 So halt rein back walk then half a walk pirouette with counter flexion leg yield to track halt rein back walk then half a walk pirouette with counter flexion leg yield to track

Do (1) then if he feels good down the rein transition to trot; need to get the TOF feel on the circle and remember to swing.

Then moved on to doing (1) in trot, again more insistence from me required, yes Alexis it is more difficult for your brain but keep going :-D

Summary Pleased Tom could see I have been doing my homework, however more pleased I could analyse and feel where we have improved, also pleased to build on where we left off and progress not be repeating the previous lesson.

Good stuff really like the way Chorrie feels when I get it right

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Chorrie and Oliver Physio report

Physiotherapy Report

Previous history Recent osteopathic assessment was positive except for shortening to
the right side. Assessment The yellow dots show regions of moderate muscle tightness, lines
fascial restriction, red muscle spasm, blue significant muscle
tightness, green trigger points.

Recent saddle fitting highlighted some adjustments which were
needed, the right thoracic trapezius.m is marginally less developed.

The right hind shows some subtle tarso crural effusion and there is a
pattern of weakness to the RH which remains quite subtle. Some
moderate tightness to the lumbar back is noted but more so to the
left side. The right latissimus dorsi.m and serratus thoracis.m show
moderate tightness and a trigger point to the left spinalis.m.


Posture is maintained, functionally sound, degree of muscle wastage
to the RH is marginally more apparent. Photos show main areas
of muscle tightness and trigger points. Tolerated the session less
today with some discomfort but an increase in tightness is noted.
Respiratory issues persist and intercostal muscles also rather tight as
a result. (tomi posing as model.)
Treatment and
Manual therapy including massage, myofascial release and trigger
point techniques combined with passive and active stretch exercises
to the back, pelvis and pelvic limbs.

Twenty years ago today

Twenty years ago today Ayrton Senna died I was at Snowball Farm with Skunk listening to the race having done a one day event.