Sometimes it's those "Ah ha!" moments that make all the difference.
Turning right, Gabe drives like a freight train: All power, no finesse. We could do huge, lop-sided, painfully crooked rather pathetic turns all day long. But, circles to the right resembling circles and not amoebas? Out of the question.
So, yesterday, I decided I was really going to think about what I was doing up there. Because I KNOW he can turn right, I've seen him do it in the pasture countless times, effortlessly and with an incredible amount of athleticism and grace.
I knew it was something I was doing wrong.
And I was right.
I concentrated on my body as we headed into a right turn...and wouldn't you know it. My right shoulder and waist immediately collapsed, which dropped my right seat bone into him and pushed him...that's correct...pushed him LEFT! He was just doing what my body was asking and I was clueless about what my body was asking. See what happens when we get lazy about paying attention to our bodies? Bad habits abound!
He was being good...and I was committing an all-too-common rider sin over and over and over again. Imagine how confused the poor guy was, being asked to do the same thing over and over and not understanding what he wasn't doing right. Because that big, wonderful boy, he's a pleaser and I could tell he was starting to get as frustrated as I was.
Once this information clicked I could concentrate on keeping my body upright, my shoulders squared, body centered and balanced in the middle of him without collapsing to either side and keeping my seatbones evenly balanced on either side of his spine, following the direction of his shoulders.
And wouldn't you know it, as soon as I got ME straightened out...he turned right beautifully!
The freight train became a Ferrari. And I rejoiced.