And again, it always come from me.
Monday we worked on helping me find my own body. I still continue to want to balance off of my right seat bone, and collapse my right side. But Sarah makes me ride correctly, and I sure get a workout afterwards. The lesson consisted of loping almost in it's entirety - but dont feel too bad for Mr Wesley who is fit as can be, and we really didnt have a super long lesson.
One of the big things, again, was an emphasis on stabilizing my core, but also my back. I get into a habit of "pumping" with my seat and body to compensate for not stabilizing myself. So staying straight through my body and strong in my core makes me stop pumping my seat. As Sarah said from the ground, my belt buckle shouldnt be swinging every which way, you should be able to read it as I go by, haha. Finally after hearing Sarah say that, I started to tune into my body some more and stabilize myself, and boy after a few rounds I started to get really tired.
Soon, Sarah make me let out my reins because as we were working on lead changes, she wanted me to find the change from my body and not my hands. I was able to get the lead changes from Wesley, but they were front to back. Not front, go a few strides, then back, but together, just not in the perfect order. This, we soon seemed to be able to discover, was from my inability to properly center my seat bones. While my body may be turning into a direction, but hips were not following suit (mostly from the right to left, as I want to ride with right hip forward). Good Wesley was trying for me but I was not asking correctly, so that is how he changed his leads.
We decided to work on my body for spinning, and it was even more apparent my lack of hip change. I was able to get a nice easy turnaround to the left, as it is so natural to have the right hip forward. Turning to the right was much more difficult because I wasnt truly rotating my hips into that direction, so I started fighting with my hands which, of course, did nothing productive. Sarah addressed this issue clearly, and I tried again really focusing on my body. It took a lot of concentration, but I was able to change my hip slightly and find the left seat bone, then stop him with the outside rein. And wouldnt you know, Wesley turned right around easy as pie.
She suggested that I start running. This will be beneficial three-fold. I can find a rhythm in my footfalls and get in tune with my body. I can concentrate on running from my hip and opening up the hip joint, instead of just running with my leg. This will also allow me to engage my core as I run. Sarah suggested developing a breathing pattern for this as well when engaging the core and swinging from the hip. She said that this is the next step for improving my riding by finding more physical fitness and finding my body. I really am looking forward to it as it is something I have been wanting to incorporate into my habits, and its something I know I should be doing as well. I have the time and the drive to do it now, and so it will begin!