|Owning it in July|
Skipping through some cat-herding to the exciting result: we collected some of her clients & a few of my fellow David-disciples and I was able to have my lesson…IN MY OWN BACKYARD! In some odd fantasy world with no trailer-packing, no driving, I could just saddle my horse & ride up the fenceline to enjoy my Circle of Death. The word gratitude doesn’t even describe it, given how much I need good things in my life right now!
Despite my plans of improving on our jump performance in July, Encore had only been back in work for two weeks & still lacked hind strength, so I opted to put on the dressage saddle. I wanted David’s eyes to evaluate my horse once again.
|Not Hackney trot anymore!|
Hello, payoff. Imagine that: break it down to simple, clear things, teach your horse to respond to individual aids, and *gasp* I didn’t have to work so hard to get a response to my aids! Erm, some of us are slower learner than others… *raises hand*
My lessons are so rare, they are incredibly valuable to me. While forward energy is crucial, David reminds me each time we meet how important it is for this horse to unlock his body & open his topline FIRST. Encore must be correct & balanced before he is asked to move out, otherwise you end up back at downhill rushing.
Ok, I Couldn't Help Jumping A Little...
I knew his butt would tire soon, but we decided to do some simple jump work at the end, for the sake of my rusty self. I confess, hearing “keep his poll up & wait with your body” STILL after five years makes me beat my head on the table a little. Perhaps you can even hear me mumble, “I should get a tattoo of that” in the video, ha. I have to wonder if David gets tired of saying it…
While Encore was compensating a bit at the end, it was good for both of us to feel some balance & pace again. Watching the videos, I realize that I lapse into riding him like he is still a green horse! Although our three years have been rather a roller coaster, I need to remember that I have actually trained him along the way and he now has a skillset of his own. Fortunately, I have no control issues whatsoever, ahem, none at all… *shifty eyes*
The Big Takeaway
I do consider Encore a Training horse now, but this reinforced for me yet again how vital it is to stay focused on the core principles – effective aids, consistent rhythm, balance for you & your horse, enforcing & rewarding correctness in your horse – no matter what your level or discipline. Riding can seem overwhelmingly complicated sometimes, in a world full of books & articles & forums & clinics, which makes me appreciate David’s focus on methodical simplicity even more. It’s the perfect antidote for my crazy hamster brain. My horses have no idea how much gratitude they owe that man for that!!
|Chill, mom, I got skillz|