Friday, November 2, 2012

No Stirrup November

Been having a string of "bleh" rides lately as I figure out this riding-to-the-bit and weight-off-the-forehand business. Not much to report really until I develop my feel a bit more and learn when to stop pestering. I was hoping to work on it this week in a lesson, but apparently my instructor stepped on a nail (!!!!) and we decided to reschedule. Can't wait to hear what the story is on that one--sometimes horses are the least of your problems when the barn itself is out to get you.

I just found out about something that I think will be a good challenge though. I knew about NaNoWriMo, and I knew about No-Shave November...but I think NO STIRRUP NOVEMBER is the ticket for me. (And you thought the scares were over when Halloween ended). I'm thinking at least 10 minutes of no-stirrup work for the students and I'll try to all of my non-lesson riding without stirrups. Ahh!!

I think it will be good for everyone, though. While I was being lazy and not posting taking an unannounced blogging sabbatical over the past few weeks, I had my first student come off in a lesson.
I had set up a low gymnastic (4 trot poles to a canter pole to an 18" cross rail) and the student had trouble getting Levi to canter right after the trot poles, so I got on, made him do it, and then had her hop back on. Then she was able to get the canter, no problem...but lost her balance over the cross rail, fell on his neck, and accidentally kicked him, which just made him freak out and buck...leaving her in the dust.

I felt pretty bad about it. I think Levi was saving her butt by not cantering for her at first--in retrospect, I think she was a bit nervous, and he picked up on it. I felt so bad. Good pony. I probably shouldn't have pushed her to canter, but I guess a) everyone falls off and b) sometimes you misread people's confidence level. I know I definitely had some scary lessons as a child when I was overhorsed because I was so eager to ride at all.

So--lesson learned for both of us. She learned: SIT after the jump, and I learned: More no-stirrup work for everyone to develop their leg and seat. That's something I've been kind of neglecting with my students. Come January, when people get back into the swing of coming regularly (I'm already seeing a drop-off with the holidays and of course with the hurricane) I think one of my resolutions is to start doing lesson plans again.

Speaking of the hurricane--I rescheduled my Sunday lessons for early in the day...stocked up on food that doesn't have to be refrigerated...and got permission to work from home (well, it was really more of a "Do not come in unless you absolutely have to" from the higher-ups).

And where I live in southern MD, you would never have known it was a hurricane and not just a really rainy day. Sure, it was windy, but we never lost  power. Oh well--even though I was working on Monday, I got to laze on the couch all day by the fireplace.

This weekend I only have a few lessons, so I'm not going to school horses on Saturday. It might just be me imposing arbitrary, neurotic rules on myself, but sometimes I feel like I have to limit my horsey time so I look forward to it, rather than it being a chore. And I'm not crazy about riding drafts to begin with.

Instead I will be baking pumpkin pie (with a different streusel) for the boyfriend and test-driving the pumpkin bars I'm going to make for Thanksgiving.

Ah, the great indoors...


  1. Thanks for the link back! Sorry about your lesson student falling off. Typically I don't do No Stirrup November, I usually start with No Stirrup January, and every year my trainer has tacked on an extra month. So this year was supposed to be No Stirrup Jan-Mar but between lameness and my own injuries we got an almost 3 month so I guess I'm making up for it now. Most other barns I know of do No Stirrup November though regularly lol.

  2. I haven't sat the trot in months, Carla--poor skinny horses might keel over if I did! In other words, you'll have your work cut out for you (or I will, groan!) when I get back :-0. As always, enjoy your posts.