Thursday, November 2, 2017

No-Stirrup November

It’s that time of year again. Leaves are falling, Starbucks holiday cups have just been released, Thanksgiving plans are being made, and equestrians everywhere are cringing while the trainers rub their hands together like praying mantis. It’s No-Stirrup November. That dreaded month where stirrups go missing or are neglected at the order of the trainers.

Thankfully, my trainer has had me work with only the vaulting saddle for the past few months. Something about me depending too much on my stirrups for posting and not having enough core support. Hopefully, this means that NSN won’t be as painful for me as it will for others. But like every exercise NSN comes with goals that need to be achieved.

1) Canter in the vaulting saddle.

I can walk, sitting trot, and posting trot well in the vaulting saddle. But I have yet to try cantering. We were going to attempt it last week but I conviently had on a girth that was too loose so that idea was dropped in the interest of safety. I fear cantering without my stirrups, and the comfort of my saddle, but I know I need to do it. So my goal is to do at the minimum the long side of the jumping arena in the vaulting saddle at the canter. Without turning into a potato...

2) Posting trot in my saddle.

I can sort of do this one but the slickness of my saddle is a bit of a deterrent. My saddle is “sticky” when I clean and condition it but that’s been neglected because I’m lazy. This goal is simple and I know I can do it. I just need to drop the whole “saddle is slippery so I’m going to die”.

3) Two point/half seat without stirrups.

This is another one that I can sort of do but I need to get better at it.

I’m thankful that Cupid and I have the ability to work with the vaulting saddle and that my trainer has been having me slowly build up strength. Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t recommend doing stirrupless work for entire lessons but we’ve become so adjusted to riding without stirrups (or a saddle) that it’s been more comfortable for me to just ride in the vaulting saddle.
Cupid telling me what she thinks of our work with the vaulting saddle 
 So equestrians, who is doing No-Stirrup November and how are you doing it? Vaulting saddle? Bareback pad? Taking off or crossing your stirrups? My plan is a mix of both vaulting saddle and crossing my stirrups.

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