Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Lurking daughter, crouching trainer
After my last post, I received so much support and positive feedback, I thought it really couldn't get any better.
But it did.
I got to the barn Monday night, late, and Katie was still there. She'd gone to the barn around 2 p.m., so I was a little surprised to see her perched on Forrest's paddock when I arrived, frazzled and worn out from work.
My plan was to get Bar out and run him around the round pen. Katie had an alternative plan. "Get on him bareback, Mom."
So I did, and we proceeded to work on my position. She found out my legs don't fall the same way--likely due to the twist in my pelvis--and that I turn into a tight little ball of, well, tension when asked to trot.
We walked a little while, getting my hips to follow his rolling, shambling, movement. Then she said, "Okay, trot," and watched my entire body lock up as I then proceeded to try not to fall off because I was now a rigid block of human no longer flowing with her horse.
It's a wonder Katie didn't just shake her head and walk away, but she didn't.
"Again," she said. Kind of like Yoda, only more concise.
I told her that trotting bareback was kind of painful and she offered to get the bareback pad, then told me to suck it up when I said we didn't have time.
I think she's channeling Bela Karolyi.
It was kind of surreal to have her directing and helping me, but in a good way. And it was cool! Minus the crashing together of pelvis and withers, that is, which is painful and apparently my fault in any case.
The general consensus is that Bar is indeed a pretty good horse and that if I could just relax, this would work a whole lot better. He doesn't know much, but is fairly patient overall with my efforts. I know a little more (at least in theory if not practice), just need to breathe and not turn into a block of granite on his back.
But.. we can get there. I know it. And not just because my daughter is as stubborn as they come. I'm as determined as I've ever been to get better at something. This is special--my horse, me, riding. It has defined much of the last six years of my life. It has shaped my physical world (particularly the last couple of years), my goals and day-to-day actions, and my visions of the future.
It is teaching me to be a better human in this universe at the same time it offers salvation from said universe with the warm, earthy smell of dusty horse, hay, and seasoned leather.
Provided I can leave the office before dinner time, that is. But that is another blog post for another time.