Isabel continues to impress me. She's doing so well lately!! My only fault is that she's pretty hot to trot and has been trying to speed around the arena - especially after a canter. I want to get her slowing down using just my seat and posting speed (as per our bio-mechanics lesson)... but it's not always working haha.
So we just sorta fly around on a circle for a few laps until my last dressage trainer's voice plays in my head saying 'get a reaction' and I actually, ya know, half halt with meaning and the mare slows down. I really like her slower trot right now tho bc she feels WAY more balanced.
|isabel is not impressed by my attempts at a selfie|
I'll be eager to hear her thoughts on any improvements 'posting the canter' has made in my seat. I really like what this practice has been doing for my balance, and it's made it way easier to manage Isabel's rhythm - but I really DON'T love what it's doing to my upper body position.
Kirsten said my upper body would need to come forward to achieve that big swing and openness through my hips - and she's actually trying to lengthen my spine entirely (visualize bringing sternum and belly button closer together, if that makes sense).
I'm pretty sure once all those mechanics are working, we can tip the upper body back again to get a more 'upright' position while still maintaining the long back and following seat... And it's hard to argue with how well Isabel is going while I'm fussing around with all these positional adjustments in myself...
see? posting doesn't really look like much at all - tho it feels very exaggerated
(also - how cute is Isabel???)
But all the same, I kinda cringed while watching the video... just gotta keep reminding myself that Rome wasn't built in a day, and that a nice tall upright torso won't mean jack shit to Isabel if my seat grinds into her back with every step.
So I'm gonna keep playing around with the exercise. I set up a couple jumps for my last ride - a regular old cavaletti, a small coop (~2'), and a 2'3" vertical - and would 'post' the canter in my approach to all the fences until about 3-4 strides out, and it actually really helped me find all the jumps in stride.
Some spots were a little longer or deeper than I'd ideally like - but nothing really ugly. Plus, resuming 'posting' again after the fence made it way easier to re-balance Isabel in the corners and get my simple change when needed.
|enormous osprey just hangin out at our farm with its lunch - see the fish tail next to it?|
My general takeaway is that this 'posting the canter' exercise is improving literally every aspect of our rides - with the exception that I dislike how I look while doing it lol. It's getting easier with repetition, I am more balanced, and legs are staying in a better position.
|the 'baltimore bird' is a much more common sight tho|
Having an independent and following seat is more important to me at this point than having pretty equitation... but ultimately I want it all. So we'll see how it goes, I guess.