On Hands and… Well, Hands

Oooooh first lesson recaps!

photo - yep, my hand's in a brace.

yep, my hand’s in a brace.

So my hand, it’s a thing.  I may have partially dislocated my thumb about a week and a half ago.  (Diagnosis via text message courtesy of my friend who is currently a physical therapy student.)  It’s still really hurting, more now than when it was actually swollen, so I’m seeing my doctor today to find out what’s actually wrong with it (and if my friend guessed correctly).

UPDATE: I have indeed (most likely) partially torn the tendon over the top of my thumb.  Doc added metal splint to brace and I am not supposed to bend it much if at all.  Ice, heat, advil, etc etc

Long story short, Burns jumps like a deer sometimes and I missed grabbing mane and OH HAI BIG HULK NECK.  It stung a little, but in proper form and without realizing initially what I did, I continued the lesson:

One of the things we are working on is turning with outside aids, so that’s why the ridiculous bending lines.  One of the places we frequent is Loch Moy, and their stadium courses are always super twisty-turny.  Really fun, but never pretty.

I didn’t end up riding the rest of the week because of my hand, as well as a certification test I had to take on Friday for my job (I failed, but it wasn’t required to pass so no worries – still gainfully employed).  Monday, though, I really needed to get back in the tack.  What better time than with a hand injury to get a lesson on lunge?  I’ve been trying to get one in for a while actually, but my trainer was at the World Equestrian Games, and I was on vacation, and yada yada.  Things get busy, ya know?

It did renew my feelings that this winter is going to be all things repairing my seat.  Dressage seat boot camp, if you will.  Related:  who else will be doing No Stirrups November?!  I am!

One of my very nasty habits is using my hands to balance.  Not in the hauling on his face sense, but I move my hands around a lot and tend to make them my default aid to try and rebalance the horse.  100% ineffective, because a) that’s just not correct, and b) I am not strong up top.  I’m not strong in general, really.  Burns has a very strong front end and is very famous for falling through the right shoulder.  I’m very famous for slouching through the right rib cage/shoulder.  Friends, this is a BAD, bad combo and it is all the strugglebus for us to go to the right.

Here, my trainer coaching me through lifting my pelvis out of his way on the circle to the left.  Bringing that around to the right, she is also having me over-exaggerate my position on the circle by putting my left butt cheek in the middle of the saddle, stepping into the right leg, and pulling my left shoulder back towards his rear.  You can tell when I’m not getting it, because he starts looking like a giraffe even with the neck stretcher… but when I got it, I swear his back lifted by about three or four inches.  He’s a serious tattle-tale:

Over the next few months I would like to take my hands out of the equation as much as possible, and then re-learn using my hands.  If the Spanish Riding School makes you do it for a whole year no matter how good a rider you are, then certainly I could use all the help I can get.

And to think, silly childhood lesson program once gave me a ribbon for “Best Hands”.

And just for funsies, very short vid of Burns clearing our very first 3′ oxer together a couple weeks ago!  In this exercise, our group was reviewing the change of canter and balancing for your fence approach, so my trainer had several poles lined up beforehand.  In the previous runs, at ~2’7, she started removing poles one at a time and we were expected to keep our mounts balanced up as if they were still there.  After raising the oxer and replacing the poles, and one instance of Burns crashing through the fence because he was too lazy to notice it had gone up, we have this:

 fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck my equitation ugh 

BAM! Hello NOVICE!!  What are you working on in your lessons lately?

5 Comments

  1. wow burns has a helluva jump – nice oxer! i can see how thumb injuries can occur; hope it feels better soon!

    you guys are brave for jumping around in the dark like that. we only have two flood lights, and the shadows reportedly eat horses. i am toying with the idea of stringing led xmas lights around the fence line, but maybe that’s too spooky?

    anyways – count me in for no stirrups november (you should totally make it a thing). i’m so guilty of balancing on my hands and stirrups and it’s gotta change!!

    • i guess the horses are used to it- we just have the two lights and i think the video makes it look darker than it is, but it’s not bad. i don’t know about the christmas lights, lol. yay no stirrups! i’ll put up some tips/advice posts when we get there 😀

  2. Watch all teh videos! Work, what are you? Really though, you and Burns look so good sans wrecked thumb.

  3. I love his jump! I don’t know that I would love riding it, as it looks like he’d probably jump me right out of the tack, but it’s so big and springy!

    • he’s a much better jumper than we originally thought! his owners don’t jump him at all, and he had an arthritic issue that he now gets shots for every once in a while, so he hadn’t jumped in a long time. i’m hoping we make it to training eventually, but i really gotta get my shit together before that happens.

What say you?