Well That Was Fun, Can It Be Spring Now?

It's no secret that I hate winter. I hate the cold, I hate snow and ice, I hate furry fuzzy ponies that take forever to dry when they sweat, I hate smashing ice out of water buckets, and I really hate having to put on 5 layers just to walk out my front door.

That said, I really do like Christmas, and the little bit of snow we got so far was pretty, but now that it's January, I'm totally over it. I'm ready for spring. I dream about shedding season. Dino's already starting to let go of a few fluffy leg hairs each time I groom him, and it's getting my hopes up for warm weather. Oh how I long for the days when I don't have to check to see if the footing in the ring is frozen solid before I ride!

In the meantime, I'm going to hunker down next to a warm fire, eat some pumpkin pie oatmeal, and tell you all how to torture yourselves with more painful equitation exercises.

One of the most valuable tools to help you build a strong base of support is the two-point position. Even if you don't jump, two-point is a sure-fire way to create a rock solid leg position, and it has so many variations depending on just how much pain you'd like to experience.

At the halt or walk, try out the basic two-point: Place your hands about halfway up your horse's neck and grab mane if you need a bit of support, and lift your seat out of the saddle. Your crotch should be hovering just over the deepest part of the saddle, and you should feel a nice stretch in your calves as you sink your heels down. Think about pressing your bellybutton down to the pommel of the saddle, and pretend you have a fabulous black girl booty. If you already HAVE a black girl booty, flaunt it!

This is your basic two-point. Ride in this position at all three gaits, do transitions, do circles, change direction, stay in your two-point. Your legs will get tired. To up the ante, alternate between standing in your stirrups and two-point, without letting your butt hit the saddle. Drop your stirrups and do two-point. Try "duck for trees" two-point, exaggerating the position until your hands are almost at your horse's ears and your upper body is flattened along the neck, but without actually resting on the neck. Do this over trot poles. Your legs will hurt. Drop your reins and hold your arms out to the side. Tests your balance, doesn't it?! Don't try this if your horse is prone to taking off. We don't want that.

No pain, no gain. If you do it long enough, two-point will hurt, but the strength you'll build is SO worth it.


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