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Cantering…..hmmmmm….Rafi and I worked hard today on getting her through the back and on the elusive balancing act of keeping her supple while keeping the impulsion! This was a classic day of  “the more I ride the more I am sure I have sooooo much more to learn!”

Proof of this pudding? ~

My trainer videoed us today….As an overweight rider, I have a love/hate relationship with all cameras…but VERY particularly with the video camera. Truth can be educational, but also kind of ugly!

I was super happy to see much improvement in the sheer forwardness of the ride. Is “forwardness” a word, I wonder…it does apply here! Today I was pretty successful with connections: hand to bit, seat to back, back to front….Rafi likes to “set her neck ” in work like the halfpass and piaffe, for example. She presents it as if to say, “I know what you want…Here…” But it’s false and on one hand I have to supple the neck and poll but on the other, I must keep the hind end active….that’s the big job…and today I was pleased at how she felt…some very honest throughness!…. and what the video showed me.

HOWEVER, in my work to secure more independence in my seat, it appears that my lower half from the waist down, is still and quiet, good leg drape, no knee or thigh gripping, and improved turning in of my toes {I am naturally quite the turned out with ballet training style turned out feet conformation}, my upper half is paying the price for my more relaxed effective seat….I’M ALL OVER THE PLACE! Hand still too busy looking <yeah, they are apparently doing the right things, but are quite loud and bouncing a bit with my torso}…sometimes too high, sometimes allowing the reins to slip and get too long….you get the picture~ so MUCH room for improvement.

And then there’s the whole picture…Here is my beautiful, elegant mare moving fluidly and correctly beneath me….and then there’s stocky, busty, bottom heavy me….

I know the answer….I have GOT to get tough about my diet. The exercise is under control…but I simply MUST lose more weight!

Watching the video I would like to observe that even with a significant loss of weight, I believe that I will never be a “pretty” rider. I don’t seem to have the inherent grace of someone growing up in the saddle nor do I have the popular long limbed physique that make even ineffective riders look good. But I do have good posture, a strong short waisted back that I can use to good effect when necessary….and despite the lack of “pretty’ it would appear that I do have some “feel.”

So tonight I feel encouraged. There are some things I can control….

So long, Chocolate!!!