The old saying “It’s not you, it’s me” is only quickly followed by “It works until it doesn’t anymore” have come together to show me why I feel Beaux and I have not progressed as far as we should, I’m out of alignment.
I have been forced to go back to the bareback pad as the dressage saddle ended up not working out, and on our first ride at the new barn, I noticed some quirks. First, I was having problems getting my seat, then I started having a tightening in my knee. I pushed through it but it did not improve and then progressed to almost a numbness from my hip to knee. I owe it to the athletic ability of Beaux to be as close to 100% as possible and I was not going to do him any favors by pushing on with a leg that wasn’t right.
On a positive note, Beaux did really well for his first ride in over 2 weeks, in a new place, barking dog (Beaux is not a fan of dogs), and two strange horses cantering and jumping next to us. Beaux was a bit distracted but he was paying attention to leg cues, went over poles, and did a nice 20 m circle. So lots of positives to build upon, and now it goes back to me.
I’m going to start off with doing some yoga and stretching exercises and see if that helps, or if there is messeuse and chiropractor in my future. I may have been compensating my alignment issues with the saddle and very comfy sheepskin “tush cush” and could be why Beaux and I have such inconsistencies with leg and seat cues. More food for thought as I move forward with saddle shopping, my riding, and how my physical issues could be effecting Beaux. I am also getting excited about the possibility of popping over a few fences with Beaux, and maybe hitting the schooling show in the spring. I still believe the Distance Riding and trails are Beaux’s best fit, but who says we can’t putz around the dressage or show ring and have some fun. So I’m off to stretch and will do some more stretching pre-ride and see if there is any improvements. Until next time, ride on.