November must be the month for athletic challenges, because somehow I’m involved in both Planksgiving and No Stirrups November.  Predictably, I’m doing terribly with both.  Terise at Breeches and Boatshoes inspired me to be a bit more accountable with my No Stirrups November work this year, as she is doing, and hopefully this will make me actually do some no stirrups work in the coming weeks!

So far, my no stirrups rides have mostly consisted of warm-ups and cool-downs.  I have to be careful when dropping my stirrups, as Murray is stiff-backed and it isn’t always productive for us.  I will post the trot in my jump saddle, but draw the line at posting the trot in my dressage tack — it simply isn’t done!  But more to the point, it doesn’t positively influence my position the way it does in jump tack.  Even when I post without stirrups, Murray sometimes becomes stiffer and resistant, so I have to be careful to keep things below threshold for him: I want him to stay positive and relaxed, and not get cranky when I try to drop my stirrups or sit the trot.

So here’s this week’s breakdown.

November 14th — Today! I haven’t ridden yet. So here’s the plan: no stirrups trot work in the jump tack, lateral work practice (both with and without the irons), and some gallop sets since somebody is too naked right now to have a relaxed dressage ride.

November 13th — No stirrups warm-up exercise — walk to slow trot

November 12th — No stirrups cool down. Yep, I walked on a loose rein around the property without no stirrups. I am going to pretend I don’t always do this.

November 11th — Murray got the day off.

November 10th — I jumped with a friend and had not a single no-stirrups moment in this ride. I am terrible.

I am claiming leeway because I did at least four no stirrups rides in October to work on my position!!  This is a feeble excuse.  I aspire to do better next week.

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