Wednesday, October 7, 2015

My Trainer: Kristin Corcoran Part II

 Recall that I'm having a struggle in my lesson with crookedness. Here's what happens...

Not Kristin, and not me, but this is "the demo"
The demo and regroup
My trainer Kristin and I are in the center of the ring, and Kristin stands next to us. She gets in a "riding position" and illustrates the key weaknesses in my position that are allowing or causing crookedness.  It's a body tendency I instantly recognize -- collapsing and uneven hips, over-rotating my upper body. Then she demonstrates how to correct each flaw, repositioning her own hips/torso, and guides me in making the same corrections. I do. She nods, but it's not yet 100%. She says, "move your hips and torso even more to the right." I do, and when I feel like I am close to toppling off the other side, she says, "now you are straight."

We walk on a circle and Kristin keeps a near the reins, monitoring my contact and position. Ri starts to fall, but instead of impulsively grabbing the right rein in a punishing way, I follow Kristin's instructions to "tuck in" the outside shoulder and gently pulse and release the outside rein, releasing instead of holding.  I add a little inside leg, and Ri responds by standing up more in his shoulder and stepping under. Yeah!

 Back on a circle
Kristin has me move on a circle around her.  Now, though I again feel like I'm practically falling over the outside,  I can't help but notice that that Riley is easily bending around my inside leg. And when his inside hind leg "threads" slightly between his two front feet, I feel his back lift and something clicks. His neck, which was stiff as a board, feels round and rubbery and he is moving more into the outside rein. I can't help but feel that he has been waiting for this all along. It's now easy to keep a light, quiet contact. The gears are aligned and he is flowing forward like a waterwheel. Now I can feel where he is between my seatbones, too.

Riley is now stepping lively. We move into a trot. I  tap with the inside leg, and Ri has a power surge! His back is soft and springy for a half-circle, and I have a place to sit comfortably. When I feel the energy dissipate,  Kristin reminds me to sit more to the outside (which makes me straight). Again, power surge!

On to Part III

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Horze reflective vest: more than I bargained for!

I'm likin' this look for biking
When contacted me to do a product review of their reflective gear, I was thinking the LED reflective vest could do triple duty: Riding, biking, and running.

Multiply that times 2, because the adjustable sides make it easy to fit to all body types -- both Bob and I can wear it. At only $29.95 it's a good buy, not only because it has reflectivity but because the LED lights can be off, flashing, or steady -- adding to your already strong visibility.

Bob snapped these shots of me before we went road biking on Saturday. What I think makes this a great buy...
  • Adjustability. There are side tabs that allow you to make it as small or as large as you want, within limits. I have a large, which easily adjusted to my more-medium frame, and Bob can enlarge it to fit his 6'3" frame. 
  • Reflectivity -- there is plenty of reflective surface on this garment.
  • LED lights -- I love the fact that you can light this vest up and even make it flash (triple AAA batteries fit into a front pocket. 
  • Mesh -- the mesh construction is breathable but with just enough stiffness that it holds a nice shape (not floppy). 
  • Wear with anything. Instead of buying short-sleeve, long-sleeve, lightweight, heavyweight hi-viz items, wear this with anything!
I will be using this vest regularly -- Thanks!


In our hall closet (reflectivity!)

In our basement, LED lights in steady-on

Ms. Roboto

Battery storage, possibly other stuff

Closeup of LED lights

Monday, October 5, 2015

My dream-jacket -- almost

So, This navy Pikeur Romina size 38 on Ebay is exacstly what I want, except it is not in a long.  I asked the seller many questions, and she was so patient -- I know she must be a good seller. I'm sharing this link on the chance that one of you might be in the market for a high-end jacket in great condition, for under (or about) $200.