Here’s the thing: Horses aren’t perfect, just like you and me. But this is where the beauty of imperfection exists, in the reality that while none of us are perfect, there is still the chance that somewhere, someday, you’ll find “the one” that will match all of your imperfections, and you will fit together like a puzzle piece. ~Kate Samuels (Eventing Nation)I was reading this article on Eventing Nation today and the above quote really resonated with me. I don't know that Loki and I are there yet. There are still some pieces that need reshaping for both me and him but over the last couple of days things have been feeling a heck of a lot smoother and more peaceful when we ride. I have always loved this horse, honestly from the first time I rode him I liked him a ton but that doesn't mean everything has always come easily or that he fit like the proverbial glove.
But one of the most fun things about riding and working with horses is figuring out how to fit and how to make things work smoothly like a well oiled machine. I love watching certain dressage riders because they make everything look so effortless but I am finally understanding that beyond what we see in the arena are hours and weeks and months and even years in some cases of sweat and work and truly the joy comes in the journey rather than the destination.
We rode again on Sunday and this time we put a few jumps together, nothing big just all cross rails. And of course things were not as buttery soft as they were the day before but still a bit of an improvement. I HAVE TO LEARN TO RIDE EVERY STRIDE! That is one of my biggest takeaways. I would literally lose him in the turn and everything else was crap afterwards but when I rode the turns correctly making him stay straight and not get so bent to the inside (You are not riding a noodle! shouts my trainer) then we would have 100% better results. But still there is always the increase in speed between one jump and the next. Sometimes it is barely perceptible but I can always feel it and if I dare ask for a half halt of any kind that often results in Loki just taking the bit and going his merry way, and f.y.i. his merry way is full speed ahead. I probably make it sound worse than it is but I hate that feeling of not being able to ask him to sit back and wait. I've tried raising my reins when I ask for the half halt and that has helped but not enough. And the thing is he does NOT do this on the flat. It is only when jumps are involved. I rode in my neck strap and made sure to grab it so I was definitely not getting in his mouth so there were no excuses this time. As he got tired towards the end he got a lot better but I definitely don't want to have to make my horse tired every time we go to jump a round. That does NOT sound like a good idea!
But here is the good news the next day we went XC schooling and I had brakes!! I'll have to tell you about it in my next post because this time change is seriously kicking my butt!! and I've actually been super busy with my part time job too. But just know I had the most fun ever! but I have a lot to think about and consider. All I know for now is that when my horse has brakes he is really, really fun to ride and we are able to go "jump all the things" and I am happy and he is CALM and even, dare I say, relaxed! It was really wonderful.
In the meantime be sure to check out this contest over at A Gift Horse. Happy Birthday O!
|Cooling down after a wonderful XC school. (Monty in the background.)|