The decision is unanimous, no question about it.
Gabe, Teddy, Jaquie and I all agree: Trot sets in two-point seriously suck rotten eggs. Oh, wow.
I know I should be riding in two-point more often, I've known this for years, but haven't done it very often. I used to do my two-point (with and without stirrups) diligently, every single ride. And I now remember why I just kind of stopped doing it, or, more specifically, my legs are screaming at me, reminding me why two-point sessions kind of faded from my training repertoire.
We did two (TWO!!!!) 10 minute trot sets last night on The Boys (Gabe and Teddy), in two-point (mostly). While The Boys got a wee bit bored, it didn't get either of them huffing or really sweating at all...but their human companions? Not so much.
I set the timer on my watch and off we went. After what seemed like 20 minutes Jaquie asks, gasping for breath, "How long has it been?"
I glance down at my watch and take note of the time passed.
I really don't want to tell her because I can't believe it myself. My legs are turning to jelly, my calves on fire as I hold myself in two-point and work on keeping Gabe moving forward as energetically as possible without falling forward on his neck.
"Four minutes," I tell her.
"WHAT?! I'm HOT! I'm sweating! Oh God."
"I know. It feels like FOREVER! I think my legs are going to fall off." And they really did. My right calf and thigh, which as always been my weaker leg, was BURNING.
"It's been the longest four minutes of my life! I'm dying!"
"I know!" I agree. "This sucks ass."
But we both know we need to do it. We've been doing more jumping and quite frankly, both of us need to concentrate on our base of support. We've been too lazy for too long and need to step it up.
It's a good start, and we'll keep at it, but man, you don't realize how very out of riding shape you are (even if you are in good physical shape!) until you try to do two-point for 10 minutes during a trot set and it feels like a freakin' eternity! But it certainly gives you a much, much higher appreciation and level of respect for those high-level eventing riders who stay up in two-point for the entire course, at a gallop, over fences.
At this point, I'm pretty sure if I tried going much longer than 10 minutes, my legs would give up and I'd just slide right off my horse.