Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Head, Hands, Hips, Heels.

Our first professional riding lesson together.

Last Saturday, Andrew and I donned our, oh so proper, riding attire (fleece, jeans, boots, helmet) for our riding lessons.

Our mounts are as follows:

"Tank" - Tank is a mid-teens dapple grey 1800 lbs "full figured lady" Percheron. Andrew is currently riding her.

"Penny" - Penny is an early teens bay 1400 lbs Clydesdale/Standardbred cross. I am currently riding her.

We start out at Lonesome Dove East/Forever Free Farm in Dallas, Georgia. We get Tank and Penny, and we groom them. Right now, it's like grooming a yak with their winter coats. Susan, the owner, comes and quizzes us on horse parts and saddle/bridle parts before we tack up the girls, climb the mounting block, and hop on.

We're focusing on body position and walking/turning on forehand right now. Head, hands, hips, heels is what we learned last Saturday:

Head - straight ahead, looking out
Hands - quiet, thumbs to the sky, close together, 3" from horse's withers
Hips - even and balanced
Heels - Down, toes up

It was a good lesson. Susan sent me an e-mail yesterday asking me what I thought of the lessons. I said they were great.
I smiled when she told me "The rest of you looked great...nice vertical, heels down, eyes up, etc. Alas, those hands!"

"Alas, those hands!" are due to the fact I had gotten so used to riding western and green horses, that my hands had about a 30 degree angle to them..."piano hands." I will try to get Susan to take some pictures of us.

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