- I have a goal in mind for the ride;
- My horse is between my hand and leg, feeling energetic but controlled;
- I have at least twice as much leg as hand;
- I'm giving unambiguous, fair signals to my horse and correcting only when necessary (as opposed to nagging or drilling);
- I'm thinking one step ahead of my horse (or better, several);
- My hips and thighs are relaxed, not restricting the horse's movement;
- My abs are acting as shock absorbers;
- My hands are quiet enough to feel my horse's tongue, and my arms are giving rather than rigid;
- I am present in the moment, not distracted by other aspects of my life, and taking the time necessary to do things correctly;
- I'm aware of others in the ring and not getting in their way...or I'm aware of the trail conditions and staying away from holes or deer;
- I end the session when I've reached my goal--even if that means I only ride for 15 minutes;
- And who are we kidding here--I have a totally awesome schooling outfit. It makes a difference.
I can think of times when all of these aspects have come together in lessons recently, but I don't think I've ever sustained it for an entire ride. So that is definitely a goal to work toward.
Anyway, I feel like that was a bit short/not as narrative as I hoped, so I'll leave you with two rounds of the Pictionary Telephone game I played with my friend in Pittsburgh and her roommates. Warning--this is not the most G-rated game.
|Ok, so apparently I've been mishearing Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa by Vampire Weekend this entire time.|
|And it comes full circle.|