Today was a whopping 37 degrees, but unfortunately it was also rainy and wet! The snow all began to melt, making a thick messy slush everywhere.
I whipped out my rain boots and didn’t let some rain slow me down from enjoying the above-freezing temps. Some of us (ahem TUCKER) weren’t as brave about the weather conditions.
I got to the barn fairly early for a Sunday, so I was lucky enough to have the indoor to myself. I was feeling ambitious so I did an ENTIRE ride with no stirrups.
Mabou felt great, I find that I can ride a bit more effectively without stirrups and really bend him around my legs. I also discovered that if you ride through the point of burning pain in your legs while doing no stirrups, eventually your legs just become numb and then you’re fine.
I started off with a trot on a loose rein to warm up, until I felt his back start to warm up and he stretched his neck down and forward.
Then I picked up my contact and started adding in a 20 meter circle at each end of the ring. After doing this in both directions a few times I started to sit the trot and collect in the 20 meter circle and then lengthen his trot stride down the long side.
After he was all bendy and feeling great I just played around with lengthenings, leg yields, counter-bending and transitions all around the ring.
It was really good working on my sitting trot and lateral work without stirrups. I could really feel Mabou’s back come up underneath me as he collected himself and used his hind end. He really worked well through his back and his mouth was really foamy at the end of my ride. (Excuse his eye in this pic but it really shows the foaminess!)
I definitely am going to try to do a ride like this once a week (if temperatures cooperate).
How often do you work without stirrups?