I Do It All, But Not as Well As Milton Does

Saddle Seat Wednesday

I did not show last weekend. I did not feel ready.

Between rain, the holidays, the cold snap, and riding (yay!) and driving Milton, I’ve only had two saddle seat lessons since the last show [Show Report]. This was not enough to give me confidence that Whiskey and I were ready to go back into the show ring.

It is possible that the more I ride the home team (Kermit dance!), the more my saddle seat will deteriorate [Pondering]. Although I have not yet figured a way to continue dressage lessons [Dubious Future], whenever I sit on Rodney, I try what I can remember of the exercises. Every time this happens, I reinforce my dressage/hunter/jumper/eventing habits and move farther from inexplicable correct saddle seat habits, i.e. hands in the air, grip with the knees, sit on the cantle. Riding Milton (yippee!) will double the effect.

Even Greg’s driving tips the balance away from saddle seat. Combined driving is based on eventing. Driven dressage is ridden dressage with cart added. Listening to his lessons and watching him at shows puts me in the d/h/j/e headspace.

I had a brief reprieve in November, but the only thing Nationals proved was that I can ride Dottie [Show Report], which is right up there with proving one can drive Alvin.

This isn’t a bad thing. I have two sets of horses to ride. (!!!) More learning is good. I have faith that I can do both, eventually. For a while, it’s gonna get confusing, mostly for saddle seat. The habits of 40 years will always win out over the habits of 5 years.

Confession: There was another reason I did not show. Greg was not able to join me. I showed at the first Winter Tournament without him. It was not fun. My rides were fine [Show Report]. Beforehand, not so much. As I’ve said before [NRHA 2016], I don’t get any less nervous when he is there, I just have someone to be nervous at. I hope I will get my act together sufficiently that I can show without such intense moral support, at least at the little, one-day shows. This weekend was not that time.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Categories: Combined Driving, Horse Shows, Horses, Riding, Saddle Seat

2 replies »

  1. Saddle seat is … well, if I knew what it was, I wouldn’t be where I am. I can assume the position if the horse is amenable. If things go wrong, I don’t understand the theory well enough to fix either myself or the horse.

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