It’s small.
It’s innocuous.
It’s with me every time I mount.
It actually has a job all it’s own.
It surpasses the 20 meter torture circle. (At least for now.)

Can you guess what it is?

It’s…the velcro strap on the saddle pad!
The latest instrument of torture from my instructor’s tool box.
Yeah, I know. A strap!

You see it all started with my petulant right hand. Recall the story? It wanted to control everything and I had to declare war. Well, during my last lesson I was ambushed. My right hand started to drift upward and over the withers. Hmm, now that I think of it…kinda like I was steering the car to the left.

Wrong! Totally wrong.

We do not steer horses like cars.
Although, even the masters refer to the horses hind as an engine…
Ack! What am I thinking. Stop!

So, due to my lack of control, my instructor pulled out the big guns. Yeah, that’s right, the little velcro strap on my saddle pad. And just so you know, it packs a lot of…torture. You see I had to hold it in my right hand along with my reins and ride! Oh my God! She invented side reins for the rider. This new torture device would help me get a better sense of the correct amount of contact as well as the correct position. Torture, I say!

Keep a hold of the strap just like the reins and down low.
Now walk.
I…can’t…move…my…right…hand…no…move…ment… (gritting teeth)
how…can…I…ride…when…I…can’t…move…? (silent scream)
Now trot!
What?…how?…can’t…move…arm…corner…can’t…move… (biting lip)
Much better! Straighter too.
Huh?…better?…can’t…move…arm…can’t…do…this…
Now I want you to canter. You can release the strap but keep your hand in that position.
Ha!…not…happening…impossible…can’t…move… (cue canter)
OH MY GOD! Oh my God! Lift off! Immediate balanced, rounded canter!
Did you see that! Better yet did you feel that?

Woo hoo! Bring on the torture!

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