It wasn't just good today, it was F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C! I have a hi/lo alarm on my Garmin, and she did not get over 7 mph at any time. Her head was relaxed, and lower, ears forward, and all business. I've tried to really look at what people have said about the posting trot, the do's, the don'ts, and how I could incorporate any of those ideas practically as a chronic do-it yourself type rider. I kept hearing no stirrups, no stirrups, no stirrups. Since Phebes is my only ride, and lessons are out until I get the vet bills paid off my thought was why no stirrups? No stirrup because you are NOT TO PUSH OFF YOUR FEET. If you have no stirrups it becomes impossible to push off your feet. Someone else said toes in, not out. Someone else said don't push with your pelvis (I was), let the horse lift you. I was coming almost 3 to 4 inches out of the saddle at times. Another said let loose of the saddle horn, and if you need a balance point, put your finger tips just touching under the pommel. If you start to loose it, use the pommel contact just long enough to get it back and then let loose again.
So I rode with my stirrups, but took all the tension out of my calves and feet, kind of let 'em hang loose like jello. Foot to the outside of the stirrup, with a slight toe-in position. Reins in my right hand, left hand hanging elbow bent, but relaxed, feel the momentum of the horse and only very slightly go with the lift of the horse. By gosh, it freaking worked!!! I had it at least 75% of the fifteen minute trotting session. It was so weird, it actually felt good, like endorphins flowing with so much tension let loose from my body. The result? She did not hurry, she did not do that pogo stick wild extended trot. She moved the most relaxed she's ever done in the whole year I've been at this, and I felt not exhausted, but exhilerated.
This is going to take a lot of work. I'm not fooling myself. But we have a lot of time on our hands. My expectation is due to the veterinary bills, and time for her to fully recover and rebuild, we will be looking at late summer to fall. But that is okay. David is starting a couple of new horses and has offered to do some slow rides with me, and Doug (LSEGH) is going to work with me on rating sessions out on the trail as soon as I can get her up to five mile walk/ trot capability. I have arena work on her calendar at least twice per week, even after we get back on trail and we will be working on the trot, and nothing but the trot. My little girl is going to forget all about cantering for quite some time. ~E.G.
Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association