I can gauge my progress more clearly now. It used be: didn’t fall off. Now, there are some things that are happening that happen, just for a moment, and they change everything.
I had two weeks off from bitless riding, down to the Easter holiday and school mid-term break and pony camps. I wasn’t sure how I was feeling about the whole thing, even though I know for a fact that it’s helping my ‘bitted’ riding enormously. Even Rebel [I know, I know] is listening to my leg now.
Eh. But it was a beautiful morning, and I don’t have to get the second bus til 8.45, so I had no real reason to bunk off. Not that I would, but, you know, there was no reason not to show up.
Morris was looking to be full of beans; my instructor said she’d ridden him that morning, and that he really wasn’t. He can be a bit of an auld plodder, and I’d stopped carrying my stick because he freaked at the exchange from one hand to the other. I solved that problem last lesson, by keeping my short whip in my right hand. He knew it was there: it put a spring in his step and paradoxically [or not — that’s horses] I didn’t have to use it.
So, I had the stick today, and we walked around for a while, changing direction in all manner of ways, and it let me work on my ability to get him to change the direction, not merely having Morris turn a few circles for fun. He’s very nosy, and very sociable: his attention wanders when we get to the door, and two riders mounting in the lower end of the arena, preparatory to going outside, had his curiosity at an all time high. He hollered for them when they left. Poor sausage. No one to jog around after.
He wasn’t looking inward, and that’s where it would seem the bit would solve the problem in a snap. I applied the inside leg, and it wasn’t very effective. Then, I got this bit of advice: keeping my shoulders in line with his, just shift my pelvis a smidgen to the inside. Just turn my bellybutton to the centre of the arena. It worked.
Then we took it upwards into the trot, same issue, same solution — and down the long side from M to F, we were in the most perfect accord I’ve ever felt with a horse. I felt like I was floating in the trot, not rising, but floating. His head was down, my heart was to the sky, and honest to God, I was as light as a feather in the saddle. We were moving together, not against each other, and my own gasps of surprise were bolstered by the excited praise from the ground.
It was… well, however many strides it took to get from M to F, and as Morris is a bit dodgy on the corners, we lost it, but: Hot. Damn. That was something. That was Something. Can it always be like that? I’ve just gotten another hit of the thing that this horseriding is, that it can be, and I am buzzing.
It felt flawless, and light, and effortless, and connected. More of that, please!