Last night as I was posting around the arena (forward! FORWARD!) I noticed that my left foot was falling asleep. I thought that was kinda strange so when I walked, I took it out of my stirrup and realized it was just the top of my left foot - even more strange. I finally figured out that some combination of my new saddle, the way I am sitting, and the anatomy of my seat bones has come together in some weird cosmic relationship so that I am apparently pinching the nerve that runs under my left seat bone and to the top of my left foot. Actually, as I'm sitting in my chair typing this, I'm still feeling a bit of tingling in my left foot.
A little research on the Web shows that what we commonly call seat bones are actually Ischial Tuberosity bones. Apparently cyclists also experience numbness in their feet and toes because of sitting in the bike saddle or having shoes that are too tight. Obviously this is not normal and I need to do something about it, so I've got an e-mail in to Carol about it. Since it's only on the left that tells me that I'm not sitting straight (tell me something I don't know). I'm hoping it's fixable, because dammitilovemynewsaddle.
Otherwise my ride was very good. We again went walking outside to start off with (seems to be a trend) and then came in the indoor. There were two ladies on drafts who persisted in riding right next to each other and stopping on the rail, which made it challenging to ride around them (people who have no sense of arena etiquette annoy me). Anywho, I made the mistake of getting on Saga's case for not bending to the right when I asked, and suddenly, we were doing the crappy canter thing. So I threw my reins away and asked for forward again. I'm a moron, I need to stop paying so much attention to his head and get the rhythm and back moving and then the rest of it will improve. Yeah, I know I'm supposed to ride my horse from back to front, but dammit, I'm not used to a horse blowing off my half-halts. I need to stop thinking of him as a more-or-less made horse and think of him as a greenie with no clue. And I need to ride the horse I have and not the horse I think he should be. And the horse I have needs to learn to move forward off my leg and stay there, accepting contact and responding to it appropriately.
Of course, all this is good to know in theory, but practicing it sure is challenging! I guess that's what keeps me coming back for more though is the challenge of it.
We also did some canter before he got too tired. The transitions were much better but I am completely losing my position in them. I need to balance him better and ride the transition better. The canters themselves were fairly unbalanced but we did have one nice 20 m circle in each direction. I need to remember to do canters earlier in my ride instead of later so that I still have some horse - and some energy left myself! - to do them well.
I won't get to ride again till next Monday since we have plans for the weekend, but hopefully Saga won't forget everything we've worked on between now and then.
Dolly - further and better particulars
1 week ago