More About the Belly Button Thing

People have asked me for more information about the belly button thing, and the thing about the belly button thing is that I did it twice, maybe, and then I lost it.

But that’s just par for the course, isn’t it?

When it comes to horses, anyway. I got so caught up in thinking about the belly button thing, that I wasn’t really doing it anymore. Today, though, I totally got it, because I was paying attention to what I was doing that was wrong and thus needed the BBT to correct it.

So, Morris, my big Monday fella, tends to either look outwards at one stage on a circle, or turn, around the arena. He’s nosy, basically. Now, the thing that I do when he does that is automatically look in the same direction. As my head turns, so do my hips — infinitesimally, but that’s more than enough. Then, what I go to do, and this is hilarious, so ridiculous that I’m not even bothered admitting it, I go to use my outside rein to encourage him to turn his gaze inwards. That is, I expect, by pulling the rein across and over his neck, that he’ll change his gaze.

HA! It’s so crazy, but so instinctive, somehow.

Anyway, so, I noticed I was doing this. What I did instead was to edge my outside hip forward — so my belly button faced inwards — and looked in the correct direction [ahead!] and opened the inside rein. And put the inside leg on.

I suspect it’s the leg that’s the key player here, but the BBT automatically makes you put on the leg. And it worked! He also tends to fall in, and of course the instinct is to pull on that outside rein again… makes more sense here, but it’s not terribly effective. It’s weirder to do the BBT on a falling in, because, you know, if you’re encouraging the horse further into the direction he’s drifting, isn’t he going to drift more… but I think it makes his balance precarious for like, a step, and then he straightens up. I think.

That’s all I know about the belly button thing. I know that I’m supposed to keep my shoulders aligned with his, which I may or may not be doing, and now that I’m thinking about it, it’s sure to mess me up the next time. Also, I tend to look across the arena, where my belly button is pointing, and I know I’m gonna get hollered at about that by one of my other instructors. I pretty sure I’m supposed to still be looking through his ears, whilst keeping my shoulders aligned, and also turning the belly button in.

It’s kind of like yoga on horseback. May start a new trend…

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