Friday, July 18, 2014

Lesson #115: Learning to 'Just Trust'

I had the day off yesterday to do some wedding related things and horsey stuff (some enh, balanced with hooray!). Right to the hooray stuff, I started in King City where I made a visit to the Tipperary (Phoenix Performance) head office to pick up a protective riding vest. Then, I headed over to my usual week night lesson in Hillsburgh. And let me tell you, even though the drive was ~1 hour, it didn't bother me one bit. Driving in the country can actually be RELAXING! Who would have thought that, eh? The highlight of the drive (I forgot to snap a photo!) was at the corner facing west at Kennedy and The Grange Side-road when you come to a stop at the intersection and you just see a breath-taking vast expanse of land covered in trees, estates and farm plots; it's not called the Hills of Headwater for nothing! The view was stunning and everything that has been stressing me out for weeks (if not months) momentarily melted away. Good thing the side-roads aren't busy ;)

To top off the great drive in, I got to casually stroll into the stable and calmly put my stuff down and get myself together. There were 2 other 'students' in the lesson. I say 'students' because one of them Sheri's companion, who's been riding since he was a boy. We started with a lot of flat work. Ariel seemed sleepy when I found her but better than the last time I went to get her when she defiantly made a dash for the other end of the paddock. The first exercise was a shallow serpentine pattern across the quarter line. We had to get our horses to bend and flex... not Ariel's forte. Needless to say, we both spent a lot of the lesson arguing about what to do.

Eventually those 'lines' became a ground pole, a low X and 3 trot poles. I would say the need to be thinking ahead of the next obstacle while as you're coming into the immediate one was critical. Lots of leg yielding, bending and flexion. All things (again) that Ariel loathes doing. My right shoulder was falling forward and I was torquing my body to the left again so I had to make an extra concerted effort to be in control at all times because let's face it, if I give even a second to this mare, she's taking over and doing it her way. Which actually only means that I need to be on her more consistently and to prepare ahead of time for what I want--not new, I know... we've been working on this for what seems like ages and I suppose I may continue doing so for a while.

That final exercise is tough! Because I doubt myself and Ariel to get through the obstacles that are so close together! And the directions offered Ariel are actually rather minor so in my mind, I can't quite figure out if it's effective or not! Ugh... I'd need to just trust... another example of how the rest of my life is connected to my horsey lessons.

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