Awareness of the outside world. Women’s Bureau Birmingham Roundtable, flickr photostream by Meg McKinney. For background, news article (not pics by Meg) WBRC: U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau director visits Birmingham to discuss women in the workforce, Maxie, Jul. 28, 2022.
The wise horse keeps one ear on the instructor.
For several weeks, whenever I stuck my feet out to the side in proper saddle seat styling, my ankle would file a protest. Nope. Not ready yet.
At the start of the lesson, ankle grumbled a bit and then was fine. Although I have minor stirrup rubs on both legs, so perhaps my base of support is not as solid as I thought it was.
Also, wore my new boots. After showing them to Coach Courtney, I mostly didn’t think about them, which means they work. [My New Kicks]
Enough about me, onto the horse.
Rode Bubba again. [Ears]
Position came back pleasingly fast. [Remembering]
Ability to properly ride a Saddlebred, not so much.
Rodney curls up like a cowering millipede if I so much as look at the reins harshly. So I have been working on using body weight and legs and the softest possible rein. After two months of that, anything more than a whisper felt like violence.
Bubba, OTOH, wanted to know why I was trotting around the ring with my hands hanging at the ends of my arms like a pair of empty mittens.
The whole point of riding a school horse is that they already know their stuff. One can practice without having to worry about training the horse at the same time. However, that requires that you use the aids they are trained for. You must speak their language.
The level of contact Bubba requested felt deeply wrong to me. What made sense in his language sounded nasty in mine. (Babbel.com: 30 Foreign-Language Words That Sound Dirty To English Speakers (But Aren’t), Koyfman, 2021,)
Bubba is an excellent school horse. He is happy to trot around pleasantly. If you want brillance you have to ask, and ask correctly. If not, meh, not gonna help you out. He is a kind horse. He wants his riders to succeed, but he wants them to do it right.
Later, I told Bubba that he was a bit of a snob. He told me he preferred to think of it as having high standards.