Originally I had a private lesson with J but when I got there she asked if I'd like to join in a quadrille/group lesson where they'd be focusing on stirrup-less and seat work. Heck to the yeah I did!
We started the lesson off with the canter catch-up exercise in two-point - where we had to play catch-up with the horse behind us. Not having our seat, we had to get our horses moving forward, but still maintain bend with just legs and reigns (lots of inside leg into outside reign stuff). This was awesome..but I was huffing and puffing so badly by the end of it I had to take a break. Such an old lady.
Then we moved on to the no-stirrup work. J had us begin at the walk and stretch each leg away from the saddle individually. Really felt this in the hip! Then she had us point our toes towards our horses ears. My core and legs were dying!
After a couple of rounds we moved into a trot where she had us stretch our legs down, and roll our feet outside then inside. This is a real challenge for me because I naturally have duck feet.
Thankfully we moved on to one loops on the long side. This required so much focus..good position, quiet hands, and clear seat bone weighting. Max did wonderful after a couple of rounds and he wrapped nicely around my leg by the end.
Lastly we did canter circle counts (still stirrup-less!). I found that my position was better and more relaxed , which made him relaxed too. Maybe because I had to focus more on balancing that it was even more crucial to have a good position? Whatever the case our canter departs were nice, as well as our downward to trot.
However, at the very end she had us put our stirrups back on, and boy did they feel short! My position fell apart, and the first two attempts at a canter depart were messy to say the least. Luckily J was there to talk us through it and we managed a good depart. We ended on a nice stretchy trot, lots and lots of hugs and treats!