|Eye of Bear.|
|Syd in one of my previously unposted horse photos.|
Well, I've had five lessons with my equine instructor Drifter and human instructor, Kaite, so I have learned enough to talk about what I'm doing, and the past two weeks, horse-loving friends have accompanied me to my lessons. Once you've been bitten by the horse bug, it's hard to let it go, so both friends, who rode when they were younger, leapt at the chance to come hang out with some beautiful horses and smell that wonderful horse aroma. They were welcome to do so as long as they stayed out of the way of the horses' hooves (Katie's stipulation) and took photos of me on Drifter during my lesson (my stipulation).
|Drifter is saddled up and ready to go. In the background,|
Bear's tack is removed after his lesson.
|Smiling atop Drifter during Lesson #2.|
|Working on the walk.|
|Drifter with his tail caught mid-swish!|
|There's usually a grass-eating bunny observing my lessons.|
|Syd and the other horses like to watch, too.|
I'm starting to get a much better idea of what the information I'm getting from Drifter means. When I started, his movement beneath me was just a bunch of "noise;" now I'm starting to feel how that movement translates into the cadence of his walk or his trot. Of course, he can read me no problem! It's amazing: we can be in the middle of trotting and the moment my mind wanders to a thought like, "Oh no, my foot is starting to slip out of its position in the stirrup!" or, "Uh oh, my nose is running and any moment now it's going to get beyond where I can sniff it up and is going to start running down my face," he will come to a halt. He can't read my mind, of course, but he can read the slightest changes in my posture that reflect my loss of focus on moving forward, changes I'm not even aware I'm making, and he'll stop. It's a good lesson on focusing on being in the moment and pure in your intentions!
|I am now capable of talking and riding at the same time!|
Drifter is a great training horse (and a big sweetie, too), but I'd like to give a lot of credit to Katie. I was sure from the very first day that I showed up to groom Drifter that she'd be a good instructor and she has been. She's so good at imparting information and giving corrections in a positive way! She's also been very responsive to my needs, like making sure I had lots of breaks and didn't wear myself out on the day I showed up feeling queasy but decided to try riding anyway. I know I can ask questions and that I will always get an easy-to-understand explanation. It makes my task so much easier to know that I have a great human instructor and a great equine instructor!
|Katie making sure everything is properly adjusted before the lesson begins.|
|Discussing the finer points of communicating with a horse via the legs.|
|Listening while Katie (not visible) offers an explanation.|
|I tend to be all smiles when around the horses!|
|Drifter always gets a big snack after his lesson!|
|Another beautiful day at Sage Meadows.|
|The horses are happy and so am I!|
And here's a little video of me riding at the walk, the trot, and then posting during Lesson #4!