Errant Body Parts, An ASB Lesson


Awareness of the outside world. ANC: Alabama Power helps a tiny turtle or two at Smith Lake, Sznajderman, August 19, 2022. Photos by Meg McKinney


Last week’s lesson at Stepping Stone Farm with Bubba, pictured, and assistant trainer James Huguley, son of Coach Courtney & brother to SSF equitation star Reagan. [Road to the World Cup]

He pointed out many of the same things. So, at least I’m consistent. Yay?

Right Hand Goes Rogue

My right hand has been drifting upward in recent lessons. Not sure why. None of these things happen in isolation. So I pondered. I decided that I turn my body in toward the circle instead of staying square to the tangent. I doing so, I lean. Therefore, the right hand drifts up. It’s always the right hand because my right hand is always the outside hand to start because ASB lesson always start in same direction, i.e. first direction, i.e. counterclockwise.

Squaring up felt weird, as if shooting off at 45 degree angle out of the ring.

I wanted to make a saddle seat versus h/j thing out of it, but the idea of square to the tangent comes from dressage. So, a bad habit rather than clashing disciplines.

I am not alone in having misbehaving body parts. I sent this post, Thoughtful Equestrian: Possessed by demons, to Coach Courtney, with the note, ‘For your amusement, right hand antics.’

Shoulders Ahoy

I both lean forward and drop my shoulders. This one is long term. Coach James suggested taking a deep breath. I like this. I have never been able to ‘get my shoulders back’ or ‘drop my shoulders’.

My standard response to ‘Relax your shoulders’ is, ‘Have you MET me?’ But I digress.

I’ve never been able to make my shoulders go where I want. I think, perhaps, I’m trying to hold them back, which is static, which is untenable. Taking a deep breath is an actionable item.

He also pointed out not to lose the puffed-uppedness on the downstroke of the post. I do have a tendency to relax into an heap at a moment’s notice.

We’ll see if I can maintain a difference next time.


In other news, I am working toward arranging non-ASB lessons. The universe is not bedecking the path with rose petals.


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