Sunday, May 22, 2011

Our horses, Our teachers

Sorry folks, I have been quite "MIA" lately. It's been both a mix of activity, and a lot of nothing at the same time. I feel like I am on the cusp of being insanely busy, so trying to appreciate these last few moments of rest and quiet.

I have made the decision to go ahead and make a go at London. It sort of sounds like I came to this decision lightly, but it has taken me a long time to decide that my heart was still in fact "in the game". In addition, I have had the very unexpected opportunity to partner with a horse who has really made the decision simple. He is just a joy to ride, and it has brought back all the reasons why I love this sport in every minute in the saddle, and every moment spent with him.

I hope to share more publicly the who's, what's, and how's, of this new horse soon. :-)

But for now, I want to share a revelation I made - one that we have all made, and one that could not have come at a better time for me.

I took a pretty long break from riding, and getting back into the swing of things has been an interesting process. Every bad habit, weakness, and "shortcut" in my riding is painfully obvious - I often feel as thought I have been distilled down to the worst of my riding!

In being back in the saddle, I am also able to realize what amazing, kind, patient teachers our horses are for us. My current horse is well-trained, and if I am correct and fair, our rides our successful. If I am sloppy in my riding, my posture hunched, or my hands not keeping the contact "alive"...things quietly fall apart. No drama, but a sincere statement of "you are not doing this correctly". When I truly get it together, it suddenly becomes magic - that amazing feeling of a horse moving over their back forward into the contact - it suddenly seems like anything is possible!! There is no greater Pavlovian reward as a rider.

I now think back on all my horse-teachers who were so patient with me when I didn't know what it felt like when it was "Right"...who gave me those glorious moments just for the sake of letting me know what it felt like. What a generous spirit these animals have to show us the path!

I am amazed, humbled, and intensely grateful for the education I have received!

I am also very excited about the road ahead :-)

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