I am soooo sorry. I’ve been remiss in my duties as a blogger. What can I say, except that life gets in the way. (Shrug) But enough about that!

Rewind

The horse I rode hated me. Everything about me. My hands, my legs,… Wait. That was another post. (Ooops! Nothing more embarrassing then catching myself plagiarizingmyself!)

Let me start again. Ahem.

It was the best of rides, it was the worst of rides. (How ’bout a little Charles Dickens with a twist?) Pretty accurate summation of my dressage lesson though. This mare isn’t an easy horse for me to ride. She demands quiet! Quiet hands. Quiet legs. Quiet mind. Everything I’m not. Usually.

I came to this particular lesson in a blue funk. My internal banter, a.k.a. monkey mind, was on vacation. I found myself focused only on the moment. I allowed myself to step back and just let things happen. I wasn’t struggling to make them happen. I had no goals. Time stood still. I was mentally released from trying to achieve outcomes.

Mentally released.

I rode with quiet hands, quiet legs and a quiet mind. Amazing!

I was able to bend a horse that’s very stiff side-to-side. I got the forward in a posting trot and kept her on the bit. Somehow I kept her together around a 20-meter circle, then the full arena and cross the diagonal. Wow!

Things were far from perfect though. Let me count the ways.

I had to use my whip on the circle to get the forward. I got it alright and a buck for good measure. (Sensitive horse, sensitive horse.) I’m not very subtle with the whip. Yeah, subtle. Not my forte.

At times my legs stirred from their quiet slumber and I proceeded to rub her belly with my heels. Sigh. She is not a Buddha. Rubbing her belly will not bring me good luck. I may be rewarded with pinned ears and a buck but not luck. Remember to use the insides of my calves, on/off.

A few times my hands awoke too. Steady bridle! No head wagging! Right. Push her forward into my quiet hand.

Another time it was my feet. I was fishing for my stirrups. It annoyed me so, I can only imagine how the horse felt. Deep breathe. Find my feet. Ground them in the stirrups. Imagine dragging them through the sand…better yet, toes up. Relax your thigh and knee. Bingo!

Shhhh!

I’m riding effortlessly in silence.

I can barely hear my instructor’s voice.

Very Zen like.

Meditative.

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