This is so embarrassing. I have holes!
No, not in my pants. At least I don’t think so.
(Looking over my shoulder.)

It’s my training. I have holes in my training.
I seem to be missing some of the basics.

Personally, I don’t think I ever had them to begin with.
Or if I did they fell right through one of the holes I have.
See these teeny tiny pin pricks here and here?
And others are…
Well, the size of the Grand Canyon. HUGE!

Yep, holes. That’s my final answer.
I mean, how else can I explain why I can’t do basic things?

Smooth downward transition? Nope.
I’d much rather be a human necklace.

Steady contact? What?! Absolutely Not!
That’ll hurt the horse. I don’t want to be mean.
contact…slack…contact…slack…contact…
Oh, yeah. Nice, huh? sigh

Then there’s…

Hey, why’d you interrupt me?
Of course there’s more. There’s always more.

…riding on the bit. Through different movements!
I’m on the bit for the straight then lose it on the corner.
Or on the bit while trotting but lose it in the upward transition to canter.
on…off…on…

Oh, and did I mention diagonals! Gone like the wind.
Specifically, my left diagonal.
I’m blaming it on performance anxiety and a smooth gaited horse.
Oh, and the fact that I’m now expected to sit several strides before posting.
Yep, everything but me. After all I know how to check.
Darn holes.

Grab a needle and thread. We’re darning socks!
Don’t run away! There aren’t any real socks but repairs are underway.

Smooth transitions can only be achieved by practicing them. A lot!
I’ve finally started to sit into them. At first I jammed my thighs into the thigh block and engaged my core. Then the other day I noticed something new. If I exhale big and slow. It deepens my seat and the horse transitions. Ooo, that’s two things! A smooth transition and a deep seat!

Next. Achieving steady contact.
“Shorten your reins.” I’ve heard it repeatedly again and again for years. Impossible. I could not do it. Then something clicked and I achieve it more frequently. I now keep my fingers closed and notice that the reins aren’t lengthening as much. Better but still a work in progress.

Next. Riding on the bit from one movement to another. Last week I discovered the key! Literally. You just have to turn the key to perform an indirect half halt. It was mind blowing in it’s simplicity. (Turn your thumb to the outside so your fingers face upward. Hold for a few seconds while keeping steady contact with the inside rein. Return to normal position.)

What I can’t figure out is why it didn’t work before. It’s not a new concept for me. My previous instructor said it even Jane Savoie uses it. Nope. It didn’t click until last week. I suspect that I had to learn a few things first. Like steady contact. Darn holes!

Let’s see that brings me back to those diagonals. Cheat.
Just look at the outside shoulder and fix it.

Shh! Don’t tell my son that I said it was okay to cheat.

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