Brace yourself folks, this might be a long one, have to catch y'all up from the weekend!
So we'll start with Saturday. I rode Le Marquis in the morning with Gabi, this time we were outside so it was a bit of a challenge to keep him focused. Gabi gave me some good instruction on how to keep his mind occupied so that I'm always giving him something new to think about, instead of letting him distract himself. By the end of the lesson we were doing pretty well, but I was awfully tired!
I have a whole slew of things wrong with my posture when I'm on Le Marquis. He's a very balanced horse compared to Pingu, and moves much more uphill (by comparison) so I tend to lean forward, with my legs too far forward, and move my elbows out. Then when I want to stop him my elbows come out even more (I look like a chicken) and I brace them. So, by the time I'm done with my ride, my thighs hurt from the way I cramp them to sit in the saddle, and my back, shoulders and triceps hurt from trying to stop the horse... This, once again, is why I'm here. This is my horseback riding bootcamp, except Gabi, Daniella, Marvin, and the crew are soooo much nicer than Drill Sergeants.
After my ride I hopped a train to Weiden to meet Aaron. Since we've been in touch for so long, I thought it would be nice to see him for one last weekend before we part ways for what is likely to be a very long while again. Weiden is a small town much like Ansbach, just different because its a different town :). It was a beautiful day on Saturday so it was nice to catch up with an old friend, have dinner outside and enjoy some german beer (OMG YUM) and people watch. We may have gotten some ice cream too...please don't tell my waistline. The rest of the weekend in Weiden consisted of breakfast on Aaron's porch overlooking some cows, driving around Weiden for a little while, then back to the train station. Overall, my Saturday evening and Sunday morning were nice and relaxing, and a good break from all the horseback riding I've been doing. Aaron, if you're reading this, best of luck with your future endeavors, of all the people I've met that have ended up in Germany, I think you've made more of your time there than anyone else, Kudos!
Sunday evening was spent trying to find a Vodafone Websessions voucher at a gas station...there weren't any. Though today I was informed that because of Ansbachfest all the stores were open! Dangit, I rode all over this town and into the next looking for one of those things! Though there's a silverlining to every cloud, mine was that instead of talking with friends on the computer until all hours of the morning, I went to bed. Early. Which allowed me to wake up today and be ready to go!
This brings us to today! There's a new group here! So far everyone is super nice and most of them speak english! Its an older group, and this time I'm the youngest (last time I was the oldest) so its a different dynamic. We're doing just seat lessons this week, which basically means that I will have two lessons a day just focusing on my posture, position, and effectiveness in the saddle. On Le Marquis I have a different set of problems than I do on Pingu, so this week will be interesting based on who I ride and the different issues with each horse.
This morning I rode Le Marquis, and really focused on keeping my shoulders back, my elbows in, and my legs back, its a struggle but it was definately better today. I then rode all over Ansbach, going grocery shopping, vodafone searching, and then I bought a dirndl. I will post pictures, I'm blaming the purchase of the dirndl on Aaron and Michael, you know who you are and you owe me some Euros ;).
This afternoon, for the private seat lesson, I rode Pingu. My inner thighs are especially tight on him, and its difficult for me to coordinate my movements in such a way that I don't inadvertently move a part of my body that doesn't need to. The lesson was partly on Pingu and partly on the ground. Gabi showed me exercises on a stool with a moving seat and on a mat with a pool noodle that really helped me loosen up! I also found some muscles that need some massaging in order to help them release and get loose. So a warning to all you horse people out there that workout like mad, make sure you stretch too!! I've worked out for so long and so hard that I've only made myself tighter, not more flexible, which is a big problem not just for riding, but for my body in the long run!
Tomorrow I have a dressage lesson in the morning, then we jump in the afternoon. I can't wait to tell you about it!! Oh, and as a PS. GABI WANTS ME TO GO CROSS COUNTRY!!!!!! I am excited beyond words, I haven't done cross country in 6 years, its my favorite thing in the whole world, and I get to RIDE IT IN GERMANY!!!! I am the luckiest girl in the world. *sigh*
Time for a late dinner, miss y'all!