Will I Ever Learn? Two Driving Lessons

Adventures in Saddle Seat – Pleasure Driving


After my brain fades in my previous driving class [Spontaneous Showing], I asked for a chance to practice before the next show.

Whiskey has always been good about working to cart [Winter Tournament 2017]. These days, he has driven so much that he is reaching Alvin levels of drivability [ASAC, ProAm]. Seriously. I just sat there. I got the extended trot by asking for it. I said, “Go trot.” Off he went. For a really smoking extended trot, I had to hold the reins around the corners to support him. That was it.

The only problem with riding/driving a horse like this is when you start to believe your own PR.

Any delusions of grandeur crumbled the next day. Coach Courtney wanted me to take a spin with a second horse, Joe Somebody, owned by SSF Instructor Emily Hillhouse [Learning From Youth]. That would give more us options for horse/driver pairs. Coach Courtney and Assistant Coach Emily both made nice-nice noise about my drive. They were being overly generous.

I began with my usual habit of flinging the reins and saying Go! Horsie! This never works. I can’t seem to stop.

They convinced me to pick up the reins. So I went to the other extreme. I locked onto the reins with grim determination. The light touch. I has it not.

When I finally, right at the end, softened enough to give Joe a chance to move, we did fine.

Sigh. Rein handling is an essential part of riding. Shouldn’t I have a better grip on it by now?

Thank you for reading.
Katherine Walcott

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