I have been riding for about four years now. Over the summer I was a pretty great rider ( that is good enough to win first place out of ten riders in junior huntseat walk/trot) and I should have gotten better. The complete opposite happened and I haven't just gotten worse, I've gotten to be a terrible rider. The trouble is all in my seat. Let me explain this short and sweet:
I sit on the right side of the saddle ( enough for you to be able to read what's written on the back of my shirt ). My right leg is almost completely invisible from behind because I sit on one side. My right toe points out. My left knee is always on the horse. My left toe points straight. My right hand is always closed. My left hand is always open. If you can't already tell, everything I'm doing causes my horse to run into the rail. My problem: I can't stop.
When it really shows is on my turns. Because my left hand is open, allowing my body to sit on the right hand side of my horse, I don't steer. Because my body is twisted, when I feel like I've pulled my hand all the way behind my but, and I'm falling off the horse, all I've done is turn my body straight. My horse can't feel me turn, and so he doesn't know when to turn. He always slows dramatically in the turns because he doesn't want to hit the fence ( I obviously am not capable of steering him ). Because I am posting faster than he trots, he feels pinching and swings his head all crazy. I try to turn him, and instead of my left knee coming off, it goes on even harder.
You don't know how long I'v been working on this. During every lesson, I always want to cry because no matter how hard I try, I can't get that left knee off.
I want to do lunge work and sit the trot to correct my seat. I've already done this in one lesson, and the ending result was that I could actually post the trot with a relaxed left knee and everything was alright. But when we went to the rail I lost it. I want to keep doing lunge work, and create correct muscle memory. Then when I go back to posting with stirrups, my seat will want to be straight rather than sideways.
My instructor didn't let me do lunge work during my last lesson,however, because she wanted me to get ready for the show. My lesson was HORRIBLE! Why? Because we weren't correcting my problem. By posting sideways on the rail I was only enforcing it. My show was terrible as well. I practiced two hours before the show, and all my instructor said was to keep practicing, keep practicing. I know what I'm doing wrong. I just CANT STOP. I physically dont know how to loosen my left leg's tight grip. I am in a lock, and I don't know how to break out. Every time I try to turn, my body uses my knee pressure to force the resistant top half over, creating a corkscrew.
PLEASE SOMEONE HELP