Sometimes my mind gets the better of me and I forget to translate the logical mechanics to my body. Last night I had a pretty good lesson on the Lou-meister and later in the lesson he offered me some lovely swing and softness in a sitting trot. I appreciate it, buddy! Because lord knows I didn’t do you any favors to get it…at least until the lightbulb finally went off in my head. Allow me to elaborate: last week I had a great lesson and we worked on straightening and also getting Louie to step under and carry himself on the inside hind leg as we circled. We had some really super moments after my trainer offered me a tip to try and help me achieve a better position and more effectively ask Louie to step under himself with the inside hind. As we were on the circle she asked me to “think” towards his outside ear.
It really worked for me last week and Louie got more soft and round as he stepped under himself and better matched the arc of the circle. Great! Yay! Fabulous! Maybe you can already see where this is going… but I kind of latched on to that little trick because…well…it worked! So last night after we warmed up and started to work in the trot on a circle I was ready to pull out my ace and re-create some of that soft loveliness of last week. Unfortunately, I just wasn’t getting it. Louie kept falling out on the circle, the trot was rocky and hard to sit, and I was so confused! I was burning a laser focus hole in that outside ear but my trick wasn’t working.
Fear not, gentle reader. That lightbulb finally did come on and I realized with horror what I was doing and why “my trick” wasn’t working. In my fervor to throw all my energy over Louie’s outside ear, I forgot why I was supposed to be doing that in the first place. The idea is sound. If done correctly, it is effective. The idea was always for my hips to send some energy toward the ear to get that inside hind to step under the body. The problem was, I momentarily forgot that my shoulders need to continue to express the turn so obviously, as you can see above, I was being all “vertically-aligned-human” and forgetting the basic mechanics. Gosh, I wonder why we kept falling out on the circle…
Once I got myself sorted and began expressing the turn with my shoulders, guess what I got?! Thanks Lou, I owe ya one, again, for the laps of pillowy soft sitting trot. I owe my trainer big time too since even though she didn’t know what was going on inside my head- she sorted me out from the ground and she’s the reason the lightbulb finally did go on. She said “could you feel that as soon as you started matching the turn with your upper body he came straighter?” She felt bad when I told her I was focusing on what she said last week but I explained that I understand exactly what I did wrong. 🙂