November 7, 2011

Just A Thought

In the quiet just before bed, there is lots of time for thinking.

Always thinking.

I used to just ride. Get on horse, squeeze legs, make some circles, follow the trail. Riding.

Nothing wrong with riding. It's good for the soul. It stills my clamouring heart.

But I grew some sport goals. Only I didn't know how to get there.

Then someone whose name starts with a "W" and ends with a "d" and has "offor" in the middle taught me about being a thinking rider. Not just thinking about riding, but Thinking about Riding.

I discovered possibly the most powerful tool in the arsenal. I began asking "how" and "why" and "when" and "what's another way" and the momentum began to build.

There are always speed bumps, of course, but I analyzed them too and even those had something to teach me.

The Thinking Rider watches every step, feels every breath and adjusts, listens, waits, plans, and adjusts again. And that is all before the next step. They've thought an entire essay by jump #2.

I am only a Thinking Rider padi-wan but I can feel the power of the Force waiting for full realization.

(Is that one geeky enough for you?)

One problem, though. Once you kick-start the Thinking, you can't turn it off. Lying on the pillow at night, looking out the office window before lunch, driving home in the afternoon, even dreaming.

You are adjusting, listening, waiting, planning, all to the rhythm of hoofbeats in your time for sleeping, working, or eating.

It's a double-edged sword. And I gladly hold out my hand every day for another cut. Because I think tomorrow I can ride a better jump.


  1. I though I was the only one who thought that much about everything. It's not even just about point a to point b for me though, it's all the inbetweens too - like if my horse had all her supplements today, if she had a good romp around her pasture, how do those things affect why she's different every day. Then you get all the way down to how much the back is swinging between each walk step. There's never any time to think about anything else, and I love it!

  2. I hear ya. That's probably the worst part about being unemployed. It gives my brain extra time to think think thinkthinkthink.

  3. There is a difference between being a rider and being a Rider. It is a difference in attitude and of course, obsession.

  4. Exactly, tang, it's like "hey, look, his whisker twitched, what does that mean? Oh, hey, he hung out in that corner of the pasture today..." I tell myself I should stop thinking so much, but I don't want to!

    Oh Dom, extra time would be very very bad for me, LOL!!!

    Spot on, Barbara, spot on.

  5. A Thinking Rider will be you, if only keep trying you do. ;)

  6. Yay I'm not the only one I am so happy! I am definitely a Thinking Rider. I think about every little detail every second. It's like an addiction. It IS an addiction. One that I'd never get rid of but drives me crazy sometimes.

  7. Oh. My. God. - I know you liked the last videos I found, but THIS ONE is going to blow your mind!!

    WAIT 'til you see what it is! :-))) *giant grin*

    (And oh yeah, I know what you mean. For more years than I can remember I have counted "strides" to stairs, lines on the sidewalk, carpet squares, you name it. I have to step/up over it I know exactly when I'm going to get there. Can't help having my 'eye' all the time! Now, does this make me a flawless jumper pilot? Hardee har har... :-)

  8. P.S. What the heck is up with PA's hands in that DRESSage test, anyway? I don't know what she's doing but it doesn't look very nice. I remember that horse, though, and he was a "handsome sod," alright. Although when I was a kid then I honestly knew nuthink about 3-Day/Eventing. All I knew was PA did it and jumped big scary fences outdoors. :-)

  9. Me again: I had not even watched five minutes of the video before I raced over here to tell you about it. Now I'm busy being APPALLED at the x-country fences. Were they TRYING to kill everyone, especially at Fence 2?? Can you imagine that, in the mud? Just saw a lovely rotational fall there... >.<

  10. (Sorry I've hijacked your Comments here, but I don't have any other way of reaching you!)

    Just a note: Tad and Ballycor. THAT'S HOW IT'S DONE, folks! :-)

  11. Ahahahah, I've just started watching it, but that is great stuff! Makes me laugh thinking how folks today often whine about footing -- what would they do when faced with a course like that? Footing, schmooting, just get it done! Those horses were tough and sound, back when people actually did roadwork and left arenas!

  12. I was just driving down the road yesterday thinking, 'is there anyway to turn my brain off? Even if just for a few moments?'. My problem is that there are those in my life that expect me to think of something other than horses. Like say maybe my children and possibly my husband. But I cannot make my mind 'want' to think about anything else. I force myself to do other things like cook, clean, do homework, watch a movie with the husband but sadly often times those things are just chores to get to the 'good stuff'.

  13. Haha, yes, Amy, every day is just a day spent waiting until I can be with my red boys again.