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Ellie&Werther
Aug. 11, 2009, 11:20 PM
I had a 45 minute lunge lesson with my trainer tonight, no stirrups or reins before I go die of exhaustion I thought I would share what I learned. As a hunter rider with Cerebral Palsy, I got a long just fine using my inner thigh to balance because my CP means my lower leg is weaker. My horse is far better trained than I am, he is at I-1 and I am at training level. My trainer explained to me that when I grip with my inner thigh, that is upper level dressage speak for half halt, which may explain a lot of my impulsion issues! I started to get the hang of taking my leg completely off for short stretches near the end. The other piece, which will also be a challenge, was using core muscles to absorb the horses energy and stay in sync with the stride (there should be a better way to explain this but I can't think of it now) . I'm not sure I'll ever get used to sticking my stomach out, when i've been attempting to keep in sucked in for so long! Thanks for listening. :D

Ambrey
Aug. 11, 2009, 11:22 PM
Sounds wonderful, Ellie! Can't wait to see your improvement next time you go out!

I'm hoping my trainer will give me some longe lessons this winter!

TheHorseProblem
Aug. 13, 2009, 03:18 PM
Congratulations! There is nothing better for your riding.

By the way, if you are in CA and can get to the San Diego area, Jody Ambrose has a mechanical horse (LuLu) she gives lessons on. They are amazing because she can physically adjust your position, and you don't have to make the horse go.

quietann
Aug. 13, 2009, 04:39 PM
That sounds like a very good lesson.

Yesterday, I rode my friend's old retired eventer (who really should have been a pure dressage horse) without stirrups, and found it much easier to "listen" to what my core was doing. It helped that this horse is a couch (complete with secure old-horse swayback and comfy, but incorrect, 4-beat canter) so I did not have to worry about my balance, or being jostled around much. I plan to ride him in a bareback pad the next time I ride him.

Wish lunge lessons were easier to obtain. I'd love to try this all with my own horse, but she's bouncy!

Ellie&Werther
Aug. 15, 2009, 12:31 AM
Thanks guys!

The Horse Problem- I am in Minnesota. It would be a bit of a hike for me. I do get out to Thermal, CA about once a year to watch my Mom horse show, are you very far from there?

Quietann- My horse is a big mover: pic here (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30530827&l=4446fafdd4&id=113300124). I did some without stirrups on him on my own yesterday, and I fell off yesterday. I did fine in the trot work, but I got too far forward in the canter transition, and he rooted and pulled me off. I love that my horse has good gaits and he is really well trained, but sometimes I had a "practice" horse sometimes.

Ambrey
Aug. 15, 2009, 01:38 AM
OMG, be careful! No more falling off! :lol:

I don't really do no stirrup work with mine off the longe line for that reason. I think it would really help too! Oh, well. Some day maybe we'll both get steady eddy practice horses!

pintopiaffe
Aug. 15, 2009, 06:40 AM
stunning horse!

Lunge lessons with the right teachers (horse AND human!) are absolutely irreplaceable.

It is hard to make the change to the very upright, 'balanced on the seat' dressage seat, with 'loose' thighs. That taking the leg off excercise is a killer in the beginning, but before long you'll be doing it w/t/c.

Can I ask if the CP affects the core strength? My CP kids in the past haven't been old enough or not able to verbalize enough to give me feedback about such things... you can email or pm if you'd prefer not to answer on the board! I know there are varying degrees too. But there aren't that many places to learn/ask about the mechanics of some challenges specifically for DRESSAGE. ;)

slc2
Aug. 15, 2009, 06:41 AM
"and I fell off"

wild woman. :)

keep it up.

Ellie&Werther
Aug. 15, 2009, 05:35 PM
stunning horse!

Lunge lessons with the right teachers (horse AND human!) are absolutely irreplaceable.

It is hard to make the change to the very upright, 'balanced on the seat' dressage seat, with 'loose' thighs. That taking the leg off excercise is a killer in the beginning, but before long you'll be doing it w/t/c.

Can I ask if the CP affects the core strength? My CP kids in the past haven't been old enough or not able to verbalize enough to give me feedback about such things... you can email or pm if you'd prefer not to answer on the board! I know there are varying degrees too. But there aren't that many places to learn/ask about the mechanics of some challenges specifically for DRESSAGE. ;)

I can best describe CP as a spectrum disorder, because there is a neurological problem at birth everyone is affected by it differently. My CP is fairly mild, the muscles on my left side are all tight, my leg is the worst but the hand is also affected. I also have some mild core strength issues, and limited fine motor skills on both sides. I would encourage your kids to work with a physical therapist or personal trainer with a PT background to work on strength and elasticity. PT sucks, I rebelled against it for a long time during my teenage years, and in college, but working to improve riding can be a good motivator. I work with a personal trainer at the gym, we did a consult with the PT guy there before we started, so we knew what exercises were good and what ones to stay away from. My personal trainer also has a daughter that rides so I can go to her with issues I'm having with my riding and we do exercises that will help, ie crunches targeting obliques to help with the sitting trot. Pilates and Yoga can be good too, if you find a good class with a teacher that is willing to work with you. Hope this helps!

pintopiaffe
Aug. 15, 2009, 07:13 PM
It does, much! Thanks for sharing that.

Funny how the advice comes around to the same thing though. ;) I'll be attending a clinic with MY teacher that the first part the first day is in the gym. Not aerobics type gym stuff, but how to activate and isolate the muscles we need the most work on for riding. :D

TheHorseProblem
Aug. 15, 2009, 07:33 PM
Ellie, that is a very good looking horse, though slightly naughty!;)

I am in the LA area. I have never been to the Thermal show. Maybe next year I'll go watch one of the Grand Prixs.