Theo has been handling his overnight trip very well. He and Dorkzilla have settled in with a general truce and can even be lured into being cute occasionally.
The ring was a little bit less intimidating today. Theo felt right at home and barely flicked an eyelash.
1. I am still working on keeping my seat bones actually on the saddle. The good news is that I did find my seat bones through most of my ride today, and they didn't wander off as easily!
2. Mary has her hands full with my position. When I'm walking around, I now tend to lean too far back. When I'm trotting, muscle memory kicks in and I tend to get too far forward. At all gaits, I tend to hollow my back. A bunch of visuals were used, but the one that really made a dent was the story of a lady with a similar issue that was fixed with some tape. They ran the tape from the underside of her bosom, down over her stomach, and ended on her pubic hair. When they asked her to trot and she popped her chest up, she yelped. Then repeat until lesson is learned.
I did not want the tape. Nope, nope, nope. Even if they weren't going to use duct tape and Mary said she doesn't go down to the pubic hair, that still sounded unpleasant. So anytime Mary said duct tape, I would do whatever it took to make my boobs touch my pubic bone. Mostly this consisted of lifting my pubic bone. This made Mary very happy, since I finally got rid of the hollow in my back while posting. I did not get the tape.
3. You can sit on more than your butt. I'm learning to shift more and more of my weight off of my stirrups and onto my thighs. It's tough, since I feel like I'm pinching, but I get brief glimpses of how stable I feel with my weight on my thighs and my core stabilized with bearing down. With my weight off of my stirrups that naturally swing and instead spread over my horse's ribs, I finally realize that my stirrups are not a stable place to be. Now I just need to increase the strength in my thighs so I can stay there.
4. Theo has hoses, and I need to clear them of gunk and get them flowing properly from his tail to his ears. When we do that he looks like a real horse. Basically, once Mary got me in the right spot on Theo, we got him going forward. Like really going forward. I generated all of this power and thrust, I actually almost bounced out of place a couple times. That was part of the problem, Theo is encouraged to be small and squished because it's less scary. Now he has to learn that he can be big and powerful and Mary challenged me to ride that power and keep going instead of trying to make him smaller and easier to ride. I loved the way it felt when he was pushing along and carrying himself, so I think that's a challenge I'm ready to take.
My thighs are shaking after taking most of my weight. It was just as hard as no stirrup work. I'm going to have a beer and head to bed. Hopefully my body and Theo can hold up for one more day.