Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Little Horsing Around ... or ... a Well-Needed Lesson

This is Rhonda, my horse-meister. She is actually a great hunter/jumper rider and trainer. She herself trained with Ian Miller [Captain Canada], of Big Ben fame. Yes, I prefer dressage, but she is such a great trainer, and so darn positive and most considerate of the horse. I really love riding under her tutelage!!!

Bruno and I walking out a bit, to give him a chance to get the saddle comfy before I really tighten the girth.

And we're off! I must say, seeing the photos, he is a big, beautiful lad, and a good mover.

We were taking a big learning step today, working on lateral flexion. It's something he really has not done before to any degree, as he raced, pulling a sulky - NO lateral flexion there, just boot and scoot!

WOW ... looks like he is starting to get it.

Almost done. Looks like I'm asking Rhonda how to keep improving the flexion, and being advised that it's going to feel pretty rough for the next month or so, till Bruno really gets the concept.

That is one soggy and dirty horse. I let him loose after I untacked him, and he very happily went for a good long roll on the ground. I spent the next half hour drying and cleaning him with towels - a nice rub-down after a good work-out!

BOY! Did I need a lesson! Not that Bruno has been "bad"; I don't think he has ever had a bad thought in his life. But, in riding, there is a progression. In dressage, the idea is to improve the horse's thinking and movement, so that you achieve a horse with better balance and muscle tone, a horse that is more graceful, powerful, flexible, fluid and more in tune with the rider. And it is definitely not one-sided; the rider must improve in much the same way. I LOVE it - find it compelling and fascinating! It is such a thrill to build one's sensitivity and communication with such a subtle and noble and elegant creature.
So, this is my other great passion. And if truth be known, if I had to give up one of the two, it wouldn't be riding!!!