Yeah, afraid of getting cocky. My ability to stay ‘sat’ last Saturday started out with luck, and ended through the grace of muscle memory and the sheer repetition of having been told to Sit back! for two and a half years.
I could feel a difference, though, in my body. When I got down after the circus performance, I was standing, and it was all coming from my hips.
Since that day, I’ve been aware of how far forward I lean when I walk, and how much I slump when I sit. When I tuck my elbows in at my sides, my entire torso lifts. When I tilt that bit backwards when I walk, I feel entirely centred in my pelvis. I look at my shadow as I walk along the pavement, and there’s not like, six inches of difference, even though it feels like that.
It’s almost as if I have been forced, through anger and annoyance, to really get into my centre of gravity. And it’s not just about adjusting my posture, but my attitude as well.
I’m constantly being told to let the horse know who’s boss, but what about the instructors? They’re the boss of me when I’m up there, but I’m the client, and if I’m not comfortable riding a horse, then it’s up to me to say so. So I need to be my own best friend in that regard.
I need to ride every single step. I’m told this in almost every private lesson lately, and I cop to drifting off and assuming that Rebel will just do what needs to be done. I’ve been talking about how ‘present moment’ horse riding is, and it still is, but I’m not taking all the responsibility I ought.
And finally, I am going to keep this promise to myself: that I wasn’t going to get back on Rebel until I talked about that last few sessions with someone. Because I’m not going to ride a horse I don’t trust. I’m not going to be shamed into doing something that is effecting my confidence. I refuse to start the slide down the slippery slope of stopping riding because I’m intimidated. I intend to keep doing this — time to begin [again] as I intend to go on.
One Reply to “Adjustments”
You do have to be your own best friend. You’ve been riding Rebel a long time. If you’ve had enough of his antics, you do get to say you’ve quit riding him and go ride somebody else. It is a great relief to get to that point.
I rode hot horses for years, not knowing any better. Then I got one that was responsive, eager to please and not crazy. Things got to be so much more fun.
You have only been riding for less than three years. I hate to say how long I’ve been riding, but I still don’t get this “falling in on the shoulder” thing. I think I need to get a mirror.
Or a video. Or maybe there’s another term the instructor could use.
Take care of you — this is supposed to be fun!