The Art of Conversation with The Horse (or in this case, Gabby), is just today for the very first time ever begining to make some sense to me. I know that you have to ride every minute and you’ve got to use the aids correctly and you’ve got to pay attention, but it wasn’t until today’s lesson wherein I tried very hard to get Gabby to Pay Attention to me that I realized how little riding I’ve been doing compared to how much I need to do.
I didn’t get it because I figured that, dang, I was up on the horse, wasn’t I? And doing my best to listen to my teacher and keep my hands in the right place and my heels down and my leg back and all of that other stuff that I’m supposed to be doing . . . so if that’s not what riding is, than what in the heck have I been doing with increasing frequency for the past two years to the point of it now dominating my life and the lives of those close to me?
I think I’ve just been getting started is what I think, and today was Day One of Conversations with Gabby.
Whilst making circles, I must keep my leg on her nearly all the time but not exactly all the time. Whilst making circles, I have to keep my outside rein steady nearly all the time but not exactly all the time. I’ve got to work the inside one in a back-and-forth, choo-choo-but-not-sawing-motion nearly all the time but not exactly all the time.
In other words, a conversation. Back and forth. Listen and speak. I’ve got to make little adjustments and corrections, big adjustments and corrections or be ready to every single second I’m up on the horse.