Saturday, November 1, 2014

What month is it???

Students everywhere tremble in fear of the eleventh month. As the last of the warm days disappear and the clipping season sets in, the dread of having to drop the irons almost permanently sweeps over the nation of the equestrians. We all know the horror that lies after the command "Cross your stirrups"; even the most talented and experienced equitation riders get a shiver down their spine as they approach the barn for the first time in November. George Morris says a prayer for us all. It is the trainers—only the trainers—who relish in this tradition. They lure the newbies in. "Everyone does it," they say. "Do you want to have the seat of a GP Dressage rider?" they ask, and the newbies, due to their ignorance, nod their heads yes, and watch as the leathers are plucked from their holdings and left in the barn for the next 30 days. On this month, both our thighs and likely our pride will be sored. We must, however, persevere. For the next month, you are a soldier in the war against ineffective riding. For the next month, you are a warrior, and you will fight to the death to become a better rider (except please don't die this month cause it's just no stirrup work and their are better things to risk your life for). On December 1st, you will emerge victorious. Your core will know how to fight through the pain. Your will shall be strong and your quads even stronger. I bid thee only good luck this month, for you shall need it. God speed.

In short, Happy No Stirrup November! Whoop whoop! After seeing the results last year, I'm excited to see what will happen after a second year. The amount of hours I've spent doing no stirrup work since last November has been 0 to none, so the Tylenol is on hand.

I was entirely alone in my NSN endeavor last year, but Miss J is super adamant about it, so everyone has to do it this month. The only time that you're allowed to keep your stirrups is if you're on a horse that isn't so reliable, but today I rode Ginger who is reliable. We warmed up with stirrups at the walk and trot, two pointing for most of the time, but I don't mind. After about 20 mins, we were given the option to either cross our stirrups or take them off completely. I am lazy and don't feel like putting stirrups back on saddles, so I crossed mine. That's when the real fun began.

We started at the sitting trot then to the rising trot. It really was a trotting day. I had on my Annie's breeches, and I think that full seat was really helping me out. My lesson group has 8 people in it, but we all somehow manage to work very well around each other, especially when it came to doing a group serpentine. Miss Jan led while I took up the rear. It was honestly the most fun thing I've done in a while, and I typically stink at serpentines because, for some reason, I can never split the arena in the right sections.

After the serpentine, we all cantered, and goodness, Ginger surprised me. For the most part, she was together at the walk and trot and actually trying to do something correct, but at the canter . . . it felt like Baby's left lead. She was completely on the forehand, and that is one of the most uncomfortable strides to sit. It was worse to the right than it was to the left, and we did the right lead at the end of the lesson, so I was fairly tired by then, and I had to just stop her because I was so flustered.

Despite her crazy cantering, I like Ginger. She's sweet as could be, and calm, so yay. After the lesson, we had some (probably too much) fun on the swing by the treehouse. There was Halloween candy involved too. Ain't nothing like kids on a sugar high.

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