My dear readers, I had a fantastic day today. Why? Because I drove myself (left-footed) to the barn and got some much needed equine therapy. I had a shitty day yesterday and have been super mopey because healing takes forever and it’s going to be even longer before I can go back to work. So I texted Megan and she told me to come on out. And it was just what I needed. So after I hit the gym (upper body only! I’m not that crazy, readers) I headed up to the barn.
It’s spring, which means the state of Georgia turns yellow-green for a few weeks and the horses all shed like mad. So naturally, I helped out my favorites, Mini Me and Audio, so they wouldn’t be so itchy. I love grooming. One of my old bosses told me that if you didn’t break a sweat from grooming, your horse probably isn’t clean enough. Believe me, I was sweaty. I got two lovely little piles of hair and stirred up my allergies, but Audio and Mini were so soft and shiny afterwards. I’m pretty proud of my handy work.
I also got to break in the new lesson saddle. If you ever need a saddle broken in, email me and I will share my secrets if you ask nicely enough. But let’s just say that saddle is ready to be ridden in tomorrow.
So another wonderful event of today was watching a couple of lessons. It was both a great learning opportunity and horribly depressing because I wanted nothing more than to yank people off and do it myself. But I have been told by no less than twenty-three people that I need to wait until my doctor clears me to ride again. [Please excuse me while I go scream and cry hysterically because that’s not until May at the absolute earliest.]
One of my most favorite things about training with Megan is how clear she is. She can explain even the most difficult concepts in very simple and easy to understand ways. It was Einstein who said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” I try to follow this when I explain things and have found that I truly don’t understand concepts when I explain them to children. This is not the case with Megan. She can explain the complex stuff so easily.
Today, she explained why it was so bad to jump ahead of the horse, especially if the horse chips in. Think about it: the horse’s engine is in the back end. I once had a clinician tell me that the front legs are merely there to hold the horse up. So the impulsion and power comes from the hind legs. This rider was on Mini Me and they had a tight distance to a relatively sizable oxer for Mini since she has an old hock injury (PLEASE DON’T CALL US BAD PEOPLE! She’s sound to ride and has never stopped or bucked. She would tell us right away if she was in pain!). Megan told this rider that she was forcing Mini to basically do a push up instead of a squat.
WHOA. Not to brag on myself, but I’ve finally reached a point in my riding where I don’t tend to jump ahead anymore. This was not the norm. I used to almost always jump ahead. Ask any of my former instructors. But I never knew why it was so bad to jump ahead, other than you came off the front end (yup, speaking from experience). So this is why distance and staying centered over the horse is so crazy important. Needless to say, my world was changed. Make sure you’re letting your horse do his squats, not his push-ups. No one likes push-ups anyways!
In other less mind blowing news, I’m going to hang out at the barn more often now that I can drive and since I have nothing better to do. Feel free to judge, but I’m pulling out the natural horsemanship stuff and playing with Mr. Scooter this week. He is green and needs some handling just to learn that people aren’t scary and they often have cookies. So expect some more blogging from your favorite gimp. 😉
Any suggestions for activities for Scoots and me are greatly appreciated!