If you’re riding a horse, you’ve already won.
One of my first photos with my new phone was this ear shot for this post. I have my priorities.
Rodney and I can walk, trot, and canter at home with minimal flashes of anxiety on the part of horse or rider. It would be easier in a level, groomed ring with a fence around it. That’s not what we have.
We trot over poles reliably. Cantering over poles remains a work in progress. Rodney expects heavy rein contact asking him for a dressage canter. I expect him canter around on a loose rein and sort out his own feet. He’s never been expected or allowed to adjust himself. I’m banking that he will prefer this way of going once he figures it out. He is currently in the skill-acquisition phase. This is interesting enough on the flat. It gets complicated when we add an obstacle. Have you ever been on a horse who bit for the big one … over a pole?
I am working on staying centered, both side to side and back to front, as well as having a clear idea of the pace I want. If I am all over the place, Rodney is all over the place.
In return, Rodney is adapting to his rider. The upside of being an amateur’s horse is lots of attention. The downside of being an amateur’s horse is moments of infelicitous riding. He’s learning not to sweat the occasional botched transition.
Stay safe. Stay sane.