Lights, Camera, Canter

I hate the way I look in photos and I loathe how I ride in videos. However, So you’re feeling too fat to be photographed . . . by Teresa Porter points out that we are our own harshest critics. Our friends & family are interested in what we have been doing and how we look right now. To that end, I present my latest saddleseat video. This is the horse I rode at the show four days later [Report]. We did not look anywhere near this good in the show ring. (Thanks to Images by Ceci for the tweet on the article.)

In my mind’s eye, my hands are up around my ears, Casey’s head is in my lap, and we are zooming around like the Five Gaited Class at Louisville. In reality. we have adequate animation for a low-grade Academy class.

In the video it looks as if I am hauling on his mouth. In truth, I have – from a dressage perspective – nothing in my hands. Heretofore, my hands have been light to the point of ineffectiveness. All my life, instructors have told me to shorten my reins, take a hold of the horses mouth, pick up a contact. Now, I’m told my hands are just fine the way they are, even to lighten up on occasion. (Although not so much at the show.)

Hubby arranged this from a hunter perspective, grouping the gaits together. In reality, every saddleseat session, lesson, class, etc. goes the same way: enter on the right rein at a trot, canter, reverse, repeat, line up, with a bit of optional walking sprinkled in. Yes, the horses know what comes next. They get excited. This appears to be the point. The practice is diametrically opposed to the dressage/eventing wisdom of never schooling a full test lest the horse anticipate the next movement.

This post is dedicated to the friend who asked if I was going to blog about my next lesson. Here ya go.

Categories: Horses, Riding

2 replies »

  1. Nice to see you back in action. And yes, you are your worst critic. By the way, I like this horse, and the canter is quite nice – in fact, I’ve scribed at dressage shows where the second level folks can’t come up with a canter like that. Well done, and keep up the good work.

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