First, two-point helps my leg position. This 2pointober came at a perfect time, fairly soon after getting my new saddle and after my clinic with Elaine Banfield where I had leg position boot camp. There I learned that Kachina will move quietly and nicely with my seat out of the saddle as long as my legs are steady. Also, I now know where my legs should be. Being in two point really allows me to focus on my leg position and build the muscles to keep my legs where they need to be.
Second, riding in two-point really allows me to fine tune my rein and leg aids. Kachina is a horse who listens very well to my seat, which is great. However when I'm sitting, I can't always isolate whether she is responding to my seat or my other aids. By asking for various figures and lateral work in two-point, I am using only my legs and hands so I can make sure that those aids and Kachina's responses to them are correct. This is part of how I realized my holes in training in regards to inside bend and inside leg.
Third, it keeps me straight. I've realized that while sitting, my body will twist in bad ways when I apply a leg or rein aid. If I am in two-point, I will fall down if I get crooked, so it forces me to keep everything else the same when I apply an aid. This is what I need to develop a better independent seat.
How did I do with my actual two-point times? Well keep in mind that I haven't really done much two-point in literally years. My baseline at the start of the month was 2:25. I got my time in on the last possible day to enter the contest, so that was my first week time as well. By the end of the month I was up to 6:23. I didn't practice two-point every ride, but I still showed a clear improvement over the month. One note in my defence: those times indicated how long I could comfortably hold two-point. I could have hung in there for longer, but it was a busy month for me in life outside of riding and I valued the ability to use my legs the day after ;-)
I didn't even scratch the Top 5 for most improved or longest time (there was some seriously tough competition! Congratulations to all the winners!), but I am getting my own rewards for adding two-point into my regular riding. Also Emma and Megan created some virtual satin even for just the participants, and who doesn't love ribbons??
On to No-stirrup November!