If you've been reading for any length of time you've heard me lament how my hands always get too low and my left wrist breaks and my right hand is always a mysterious two inches lower than my left.
I don't know why I do what I do, but it just happens. If you were to blindfold me and tell me to put my hands in the "perfect" position. They would be low, twisted and uneven and I would be certain that they were even, high and straight.
Enter the Equicube a horrid torture device my trainer picked up which I was (thankfully) pregnant and not available to be on the wrong end of the device.
Basically it's a 4.2lb block with handles that makes you hold your hands evenly, above the wither and engage your core.
|(photo from their site)|
A few (poor) souls looked at it when it first showed up at the barn and proclaimed that it "wasn't that heavy" and "it couldn't be that bad."
Well I've been in enough weird gym classes (though not in a long time let me assure you..) where the cute perky trainer handed out 2lb weights with a smile and just when I thought I was strong enough and going to ace the class my arms fell off from trying to hold the tiny, pink, mostly plastic "weights" in front of my body.
So four pounds is NO JOKE. I did not sneer at the Cube. In fact I figured that if I didn't look at it, maybe N would forget about it and I would never have to use it.
Sadly not true.
I was assigned the Cube for our lesson today. The first ten minutes involved me trying to figure out how to have a decent contact when my hands were stuck in one place (apparently I move them around a lot more than I thought). The next 10 minutes were spent trying to figure out how to use my "abs" (such as they are) to prevent my back from hurting like a mother from the extra weight.
And the third 10 minutes had me feeling rather competent and extremely aware of my core and leg.
And then I died. I just collapsed and died and my biceps and lower abs were twitching in some sort of fatigued death dance.
THE CUBE IS PURE EVIL.
But, sadly for me, I was riding much better post-Cube than pre-Cube. Which I'm pretty sure means I'll have to deal with future Cube Sessions.
The competitor in me loves the Equicube and thinks everyone should run out and find 4lbs of plastic to cradle while they ride. But the lazy adult ammy in me hopes that none of your trainers ever discover this thing. I just discovered that it's of local manufacture, so perhaps awareness/marketing for this thing hasn't traveled too far yet... You can hope anyway :)
Other than the pain, things went well. Great flat work with Prair, highlighted by really great canter work over cavaletti - which felt like a huge victory. We finished with a 5 stride line, to a single on a diagonal to a single on the other diagonal. Things were great. Prair was patient and soft and when I rode like I was still holding the cube, we stayed balanced and held nice shape to/over/from our fences.
They fences are still tiny 2' things, but I am loving every second of it. So much of the stress and anxiety (both in myself and the mare) that we used to have over fences is just gone.
It's lovely. Really, really, lovely. And also painful. Really, really painful (for my arms and abs).