I have been thinking and thinking about the horse show this last weekend. I felt bad about my post too because I felt like I was coming across as upset, which I wasnt. I really had a good show and was really happy with my horse. Only up until just going into reining did I feel stressed or pressured at all.
And yet, I keep thinking about what happened and why we didnt do as well as I know we can. We can get lead changes at home at any time: arena or trail, center of arena or wall, counter canter or not. So why couldnt we get them at the show?
I had mentioned to Sarah that I was having a hard time rotating my hips. I had said that rotating to the left in particular was most difficult and getting that lead must be the wrong one too. But here thinking about it again, I really was having more problems picking up the left to right lead. And it showed on pattern - we got the opposite lead (the one I thought was harder) and didnt do what I thought was the easier change (easier in that my hips rotate that direction more fluidly). Why was this?
I realized after two more rides at home on my horse now that I was approaching the lead change wrong in my body. On the trail Milo and I were loping along and I still had problems getting the lead to the right. When I schooled this morning in the arena too, although he changed both ways, to the right was harder...but thats the easier way for my hips to sit! Then I broke it down and thought about it... I sit deeper on the right seat bone when my hips are to the left (the less fluid direction). When I rotate my hips to the right, the right seatbone should lift and I should get heavier in the left one. But, it doesnt. Instead, my right seatbone continues to sit deep, but my hips rotate.
I realized this when riding today. I got on bareback so I could really focus on my hips and Milo's responsiveness. What I really need to be doing in the lead change is making sure that the correct seatbone has just a little more weight in it, and that not just changing the direction of my hips is what is influencing the lead. So...although its easier to sit towards the right, its harder to get the lead because the right seatbone is still heavier.
Stupid left seat bone is still absent...even a year later now after adding the left seat bone shim. There must be something else I can do to find that seat bone.
It really isnt Milo's fault, and I wasnt trying to blame him. I just knew that there was something else involved that was effecting our ability to get the leads better. And at the show? Well, driving and working harder wasnt the answer and simply trying to force my hips into rotation with no emphasis on the seat bone wasnt helping either. Just another thing to be aware of and work on.