The horse I rode last night hated me. Everything about me. My hands, my legs, my new boots…even my blue shirt. I was SHOUTING my aids at this horse and she wasn’t about to comply. 

Everything and I do mean everything about me annoyed her. I could get her to move forward and round but she wouldn’t commit to the contact. Within a few strides her head was up and shaking all over the place. My riding skills had failed me. (Do I even have riding skills?)

Ow! I’m not going there. You touched the reins and jabbed me in the mouth again.

My butt balls and drifting leg annoyed her.

Hey! Relax will ya? Oh, and hold your legs still. That’s sooooo annoying!

Neither of us was enjoying this ride. I was amplifying the aids instead of the gaits. <sigh> What’s a struggling dressage rider to do?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Shhhh! Hands and legs be quiet!

I changed tactics and focused on “whispering” my aids. (After all who wants to get bucked off?) I finally achieved marshmallow butt and allowed my legs to drape quietly at the girth. My hands were steady and quiet with elastic elbows. We momentarily forged a partnership of power and grace.

I wasn’t pushing my luck and ended it there.

This brings a song to mind:

(Shout) a little bit louder now (wooo)
(Shout) a little bit louder now (wooo)
(Shout) a little bit louder now (wooo)
(Shout) a little bit louder now

(Shout) a little bit quieter now

(Shout) a little bit quieter now
(Shout) a little bit quieter now
(Shout) a whisper now

Hey-Hey-A-Hey

– Adapted from The Isley Brothers “Shout”

Quick! Let’s package it! I could make a fortune selling this “Whisper.”

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