Put Down the Hammer, Pick up The Paintbrush

Saddle Seat Wednesday

Chicken or egg? I’m good with the technical details of riding because I’m intrigued by the technical details. I’m intrigued by the technical details of riding because I’m good with the technical details.

Either way, I can spend quite a bit of time pondering the effect that raising the hands has on the rest of the body. Or how the rest of the body affects raising the hands. And so on. Unfortunately, there is a point of diminishing returns. I have ridden in 11 Academy classes so far this year:

3 blues, including a super solid win in the Championship at ProAm [Show Report]
2 reds
2 yellows
1 white
3 thank you for playing. (Yeah, I “won” at ProAm, but only b/c the other person had a worse day. Not my finest hour. Would have been toast in a larger class.)

Ribbons are lovely. I will take them and say thank you. However, the classes are small enough that one usually walks away with a ribbon of some color. In 3 of the 4 shows, my Adult division classes had four entries or fewer. Overall, I left the ring empty-handed only once, to date.

That’s a win rate of just over 25%. I want better. I try to improve by even tighter attention to detail. Where exactly do my hands need to be. How far out do I need to turn my heels. It’s not working. And it’s making me nuts.

When one is building a bookcase, one needs to hammer the parts together. Once the shelves are connected, it does no good to keep hammering on nails that are flush with the surface. One needs to pick up the filling caulk, the sander, etc, and finally the paintbrush.

I can do the riding. I need to work on the overall picture, the pizzazz, the pleasant.

Door prize from a recent barn party.

Door prize from a recent barn party.

In figure skating terms, I need to dial back on the technical merit and work on artistic impression.

In therapeutic terms, I need to relax – to the extent I am able.

In equitation terms, I need flair. [Clinic report]

In sport psychology terms, I need to ride with confidence.

In mechanical terms, I need to loosen the parts of the mechanism that are over-tight, mainly the inside of my head.

In scientific terms, I need to synthesize the data in a workable whole.

In Dionysian terms, I need to have more fun. If that is too frivolous, I need to ride with more joy.

New clothes.
New saddle.
New attitude.

I got this.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Categories: Horse Shows, Horses, Saddle Seat, Sports Psychology

6 replies »

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