Coach says there is no such thing as a bad lesson. That one always learns something. Well, I put that to the test. I learned that I was a weenie, but I already knew that.
Last week, Natalie was violently opposed to something during my lesson. The dogs outside the ring? The green grass growing in the ring? The fact that it was Wednesday? Who knows. She completely threw her toys out of the pram: backing up, shaking her head, and generally saying, ‘Oh, hell no.’
I stayed with it, but barely. I knew that I should sit up, whack her on the ass, and tell her to fly right. Instead, I curled into a fetal ball, grabbed her mane, and tapped tentatively with my heels. It was as effective as you would expect.
Disgusted with self.
When holding a leadrope, I can get all up in the grille of any horse in the barn. When holding the reins, I can (usually) cope with the foibles of the mid-level lesson horses, such as Sam [Show Report] or Natalie [Show Report]. I’ve progressed beyond the up-down schoolies, such as Bingo [Training Aids] or Freckles [Clinic Report: Group]. OTOH, I still quake in my bootsies at the idea of riding the advanced lesson horses, such as Trump [Show Report] or Lola [Boot Camp Battle]. Let’s not even talk about the suit horses. If they consent to carry me, I am capable of being a happy passenger. As for revving up a performance horse with verve and style? Not so much.
Yes, there are horses out there who are more than I can handle. Plus, one can run afoul of the gentlest horse. On the whole, I feel bulletproof with my feet on the ground. Once I climb into the saddle, I turn into a cupcake. I’ve had my moments [Jump Crew], but the baseline is bakery products.
I suspect the situation is similar to an Olympic-level groom riding Preliminary, or the equivalent in jumpers/dressage. The ability differential is about the same. I wonder if they find it frustrating.
Any experience with upper-level horses? Is the analogy sound? What is your skills gap?