Lesson Ho!

Saddleseat lesson set for today at 11:00 cst. We had to reschedule [Hiatus]. In my excitement, I forgot that lunch is served at 2. Miss M will not be denied.

This will be my second saddleseat lesson. I had one years ago in another state. Perhaps Previous Horse was laid up. Perhaps I had a wild hair. History does not record. I have no memory of how the actual ride went. One of the two things I do remember is that the lesson progressed exactly in the manner of a flat class. In. Turn left (or perhaps right). Walk-trot-walk-canter. Reverse. Repeat. Apparently those horses where ridden the same way every time out. Dunno if that is a saddleseat phenomenon or was specific to that barn.

The other part graven on my memory is that the trainer got on after I was done. I thought I had ridden with a modicum of verve. Hah. She cranked up the volume and when sailing around the ring displaying way more energy that I was willing to generate and control. Then she got off and explained the way I had ridden constituted level one. What she had done was level three. Horses showed at level five. Yowza.

Does anyone else have secret Walter Mitty fantasies when starting a new venture? That you will turn out to have previous unsuspected gifts that are uniquely suited to this new activity? No? Just me? Anyway, as I understand saddleseat, it’s all about showmanship & ring presence. Back when horses were transport, I can imagine folks gathering to show off their pimped out rides. It’s the red carpet & limo sector of riding.

I understand the importance of presentation in competition. The “show” in horse show. My ribbon collection includes blues from …
… an equitation flat class finessed on a runaway horse (Riding the Dark Horse, Horse Illustrated, January 2011).
… a First Level dressage test that I won after going off course. Twice.
… a Working Hunter Flat class with Previous Horse, who moved like a sewing machine. Okay, it was a local show but those other two horses took some beating. I was the only one who knew that the then-current fashion for hunters was to have the horse scoot along in faux-medium gaits. Shocked the trainer with that one.
I can be all about flash and dazzle. (Prior saddleseat experience conveniently forgotten.)

Off to dig up my britches, short boots, and yes, a helmet.
Gratuitous Kitten Pic update: kittens continue to be cute; my recent photographs, less so. More GKP as available.

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