Old dog, two whips

The weather for my ride on Saturday was dreary, cold, late winter rain. Yuck! Duke, Maggie, and I were grateful for the lovely lit indoor ring. We worked on walk-trot transitions on a 20m circle. Are anyone’s transitions ever perfect enough they don’t need work? Well, ours aren’t even close to perfect. Without a leg aid to speak of, I am honing the use and timing of my seat and whip for transitions. Duke is in turn learning, but sees very little urgency in trotting and with my weak aids, who can blame him.

For the first time in my life, I rode with two dressage whips. What a sight! As a former hunter/eq rider, I’m used to my short little bat that never got in the way of anything. In dressage, keeping the whip across the thigh is one more thing to think about; two is almost a full-time job. Once I got used to the fistful of stuff in each hand (is this possible with double reins?!), it was amazingly useful. After about 15 minutes, Duke was piecing together that bilateral whip could equate to bilateral squeeze. Progress.

After the transition work, we did some spiral circles working on using my seat bones to ask for lateral movement. Both Duke and I put about 75% effort into this. But we did manage a recognizable 1/4 turn on the haunches.

I slipped on ice and badly sprained my right ankle when I was in college. For the last two to three years that I rode hunters, I had to tape it to keep it from rolling in the stirrup. I’ve been taping my right ankle for the past six weeks, but for Saturday, I taped both. My MS causes my leg to stiffen, jut in front of me, turning the knee and below down and in which is pretty much exactly where you don’t want your leg when you’re riding. Because the toes point in and down and because my ankles are so weak right now, they just break and roll in. The taping seems to help. It usually seems too tight as I do it, but never bothers me when I ride.

The spring schedule for lessons is out, I’m hoping to start riding twice a week. I know I’m on the schedule for Tuesday; so only eight days until I’m back in the saddle.

2 thoughts on “Old dog, two whips”

  1. Another great skill in sharing the journey and conveying the demands of your MS and the fight to not just come to terms,but to elevate yourself and others. Tying the Anatomy & Physiology, the Psychology, the Emotions, Sprit in a candid discussion taught me aspects of MS I did not know. Thank you, and keep blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So sorry I’m just getting back to you. I’m learning!
      I’m so glad you learned something about MS. I hope to keep explaining more “why’s” of MS.


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