I'm bad at these things. I think I skipped a day or two, largely because I couldn't answer the questions, and then I was MIA for the weekend with no internet access. So here's Day #4...
Day 04- A ride that impacted your life
There’s one ride that stands out for me over all the rest. It’s not with Moon, it wasn’t my first ride, and to be honest, I can’t even remember the name of the horse anymore. Joker? Couldn’t tell you, not because he wasn’t important, but there’s been a lot of lesson horses over the years, and it’s the ride that stuck in my mind.
I was taking private lessons at a wonderful facility in the country, with an equally wonderful coach. She was a dream, not big into competition but big into making you into a competent and capable rider.
We were probably 2 months into our lessons, riding in the outdoor ring when she started to teach me how to collect a horse. Not only to get them on the bit, but to get them into that wonderful ball of energy that we all dream off. Completely off the forehand.
I remember before we started, she showed me what we were aiming for with her crop. She placed either end in each of her palms and then brought her arms together, bending the crop. “This is what you’re going to do” she said to me. We’re going to maintain the front end, then engage the hind end, driving it up and under, rounding out the movement.
I’d heard of it but never felt it. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure what all the hype was about.
We worked hard, cantering on the circle. So much remains a blur, but towards the end of the lesson there was a miracle moment. Somehow I managed to get the horse collected, and we had THE most amazing canter circle of my life.
I’m not exaggerating. I have spent every ride since then dreaming of that some experience. More then anything, I’d love to FEEL that on MoonSox, though I know unlike the horse I rode that day so long ago, Moon lacks the training and finesse to do it right now. But the feeling, of moving perfectly, of having a bundle of energy held lightly between your fingertips, responding to your slightest move. It was what horse dreams are made of.
It changed me. It was the first time in my entire riding career that I was truly riding a horse. That I realized how completely different it could be; how magical. I haven’t felt it again since (I had to drop out of private lessons shortly after that ride due to finances), but I dream of it. It is my number one goal, that I drive towards every time I mount up.
I actually wrote this post a week ago and was hanging onto it...
And now I can honestly say, I had my second *Oh WOW!* ride, this time with Moon. Last week's Leg Yielding exercise was the second time I really felt like I was actively engaging a horse and getting the most beautiful, responsive and artistic movement out of them. And this time on my Moon. What dreams are made of, I tell you!