I am fortunate to spend two months messing with horses, anything below is said with that in mind. [Let the Tune-Up Begin]
☺ Saddle Time? Check. Once the brain catches on, the body needs repetition until the muscles remember.
☺ Too tired to do more than come home, shower, & collapse into bed? Check. Cue understanding spouse.
☺ Time off while horses are away? Check. Fallow days are easier to enjoy after a series of busy days. [To Every Thing There Is A Season]
☺ Mental Tiredness. I know that one’s physical state affects one’s mental state. I keep losing track of how much. I forget how slow & stupid my brain gets when my body is slow & stupid.
☺ Solo Riding. If time allows after my lesson, I get turned loose with one of the beginner school horses. It’s been years since I rode alone. As I walked Old Reliable toward the ring, I found I was bracing myself, waiting for him to transform spontaneously into a bucking, snorting, twirling Tasmanian Devil. This is not an idle concern on my part. It has happened with Rodney [Back To Square One] and with Milton [Did I Piss Off the Universe?]. One thing Rodney’s saga (the experience, not the blog) has taken from me is faith in my ability to handle a crisis. Without this belief, one is reduced to school horses and horse petting.
☺ Purpose. ‘Equitation is a pointless exercise in posing,’ thought by me, in snit. “The difference between bad riding and good riding? I can‘t see good riding.” Jimmy Wofford. I go back and forth on this question. [Form Follows Function versus Form Does Not Follow Function]
One reason I had trouble sitting quietly was that I attempted to hold myself in position by brute force. This led to stiffness, which led to bouncing, which led to people yelling at me be still, which led to more stiffness, which led to more yelling, ad infinitum until the class was over.
I think, possibly, that a decent equitation position is secretly a dynamically active neutral position, from which a rider can influence the horse. Equation classes are exercises in body control. Maybe. Ask me after the next progress report.
I am undoubtedly working harder at Academy than most. If effort was a measure, Nationals would be a walkover. Unfortunately effort means diddly squat. It’s all about whatcha got on the day. I could get smoked by someone who started riding as an adult, has natural poise, and rides an retired big eq champion. At which point I smile and say thank you. That’s the game I signed up for.
Gratuitous Cat Pic. What happens when I cat-sit.
More Sagira, Spotted with a Friend