I had a pretty good lesson at little barn last week. I rode this big quarter horse instead of riding my instructor’s horse because she had been working through a few things with him right before I got to the barn. We had our whole lesson in the round pen which was ok because we did a little bit more no stirrup work on the lunge line. This horse wasn’t quite as flexible and not as sensitive as her horse so I did have some trouble getting him to bend. He also felt a bit sluggish in comparison and I had to keep on him with my leg to keep his trot from getting draggy. My no-stirrup work is getting better though- I did a good amount of positing without stirrups and we worked on getting my legs to drape around the horse better so I could use my lower leg to keep a better seat in the trot without stirrups.
I have to say this feeling is pretty alien to me… which makes me wonder if it is more of a jumper type of seat. Wrapping my legs around the horse the way my instructor was asking seemed to me to require a whole lot of constant leg pressure. I like thinking that my leg could be there “breathing” along with the horses sides but I felt like I was constantly asking the horse to move out with my legs by keeping them wrapped at the girth with so much pressure. Hopefully I’ll get the hang of it eventually and I guess in the meantime it is really good exercise!
After we finished the lesson my instructor pointed out that on the saddle pad right behind the girth you could see where my boots sat because there was boot polish on the pad. She told me that’s exactly what she wants to see because it means my seat is improving and that I was keeping leg wrapped around the horse in just the right spot.