Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sit Down, Annie!

Today I stole away from the intensity of work (we have a big meeting tomorrow) and had a lesson on Cibolo.

For the past few months, I've had a great deal of anxiety about riding, particularly at any gait above a walk. Learning to post helped me have a focus and come to enjoy the trot.

Ha! Sort of like what we do with our horses - give them something to think about and then they won't stay in that nervous place.

But the big leap was at the canter.

I'm trying to remember the last time I cantered freely. I used to canter on Canyon around the arena in our old place. I never worried about cantering him there. In the arena he had a good attitude, only bucked there once when a windy day changed the shape of the barrel.

I think it's been since April.

So I guess it's not surprising that I couldn't remember how to ride a canter. I forgot everything about it. How to sit. How to rock my hips. How to handle the reins. Where to look.

Cibolo has a canter that is just barely above a trot. It's perfect. Easy going, rocking horse, quiet, quiet.

And when I was riding it over the weekend I was a mess.

But today I got a lesson from the trainer. And I finally remembered to SIT DOWN. And I finally got Cibolo to stay in the canter through a series of circles. He kept down shifting and I firmed up my request - but honestly, once I was pushing properly, he stayed in it.

It felt so simple that I couldn't believe I'd forgotten how.

And it wasn't until tonight, when I was coming home from the grocery store that I realized...

I didn't pretend I was Annie Oakley.

I totally forgot. So... it was really me up there...

And I wasn't scared - possibly because I was really focusing on what the trainer was telling me to help me keep the pressure up to keep him from dropping back into the trot.

Focusing removed fear.

It's like a theme or something.


Today I also figured out how to wash my horse's face with the hose without him going giraffe on me.

But I have to catch an early flight, so I have to go. I'll post some pix tomorrow (or Friday)...


Kate said...

Sounds great - cantering is fun when it goes right! Nice that you could be you and didn't have to be Annie this time - as you said, having to really focus makes everything come down to right here, right now - if you're really focussing it's impossible to think about anything else.

Good work by you, your trainer and your horse!

Cara said...

I have a lesson today!

Michelle said...

Great!! I'm so glad you had a good ride, hopefully it will be easier from here on out. Now that you've gotten over that first hurdle. You should be proud of yourself.

jacksonsgrrl said...

I have a good one for you! I cantered Jackson on Wed. and this was the first time in over a was so awesome, I was doing everything right...then we came to a stop and I let out the loudest yell EVER...YA HOOO... I WAS Annie Oakley!!! Jackson spooked from my yelling and I fell off again. I got up and just started to laugh. I got back on and cantered him back to where my friend and my instructor were standing, clapping for me.... :)Pretty sore on Thursday....

Breathe said...

OMG!!! Thats fantastic! Congrats!