I also got to see how important a stable core is and how lengthening my spine will achieve that. Since Luke isn't really going anywhere, Barbro was able to stand beside me at both the trot and canter with her hands on my lower back and belly. She helped stabilize me so that I could develop a sense of what a stabilized core felt like.
And then there were my elbows. While I have improved, there was still much work to be done. I now bend them, but up until this weekend, I haven't really allowed them to move. Barbro helped me with that, too. Again, by standing beside me at the trot and canter, she moved my elbows for me so that I could feel when Luke's "legs" were moving.
The final thing Barbro helped me address was the stiffness in my right wrist. I can't say that we fixed it, but she certainly brought it to my attention. The way to fix it is to move from the elbow and not the wrist. She had me think of steering and half halting with my elbow instead of my hand. This was a new idea for me. I didn't know you could steer with your elbow!
We left the Ventura area and headed for home right after lunch. My eye was on the dashboard clock the whole way home. If we could be home by 3:30, I would be able to ride Speedy G and test out some of what I had learned. Hubby knew I was on a schedule and once again humored me. He was great all weekend: dropping me off at the clinic while he drove around aimlessly killing time. For the second day he simply sat in the truck waiting for me to finish. It was no surprise to him that I wanted to ride my own horse even after two days of a clinic. He's a really great guy!
We made it home in time for me to ride Speedy G. And frankly, it was one of the best rides we've ever had. I was euphoric! And even better, I had a lesson the next day, but more on that later.
Riding Luke isn't cheap, but it's no more expensive than a lesson with a more well-known instructor. My 45-minute lesson was $90 ($180 for both days). You don't have to be in a clinic to ride, either. Barbro can schedule a lesson for just one rider. Luke is in her office at Spirit Equestrian, and he is always fit and ready to work; she simply plugs him in. Barbro can also travel with Luke to your barn for a minimum of 12 rides. For more information visit her website, Always a Good Ride.
I can't wait to go and do it again!