Thursday, November 06, 2008

I went out to the barn—surprising how you think, "Oh, I only have two hours of daylight left, is it worth going?" Then you get there, and it’s like time... slows down. Expands. It stretches to accommodate all you want to do so you cram in six hours’ worth of stuff in two. I don’t know HOW that happens—it’s like the barn is in a reverse Bermuda Triangle. I love it. We had fun today. We established leadership in the pasture then went and got saddled up.

We did some of our patterns for a bit, then I dropped the reins around the saddle horn,

and let him go where he wanted to go, at whatever speed he wanted—passenger lesson—and for the first time, no fear. I wasn’t worried he might bolt because I knew I could ride it and I knew he’d listen if I said hey buddy slow down.

So... I rode with him, and... I allowed him to canter... and I threw my hands up in the air like I was on a roller coaster going down the first hill, and...

I rode it. And it was amazing. I felt... free. Free in a way I've never felt on a horse before. Now I understand. Now I know why it brings tears to my eyes to watch the more accomplished PNH graduates riding their horses in perfect harmony, bareback and bridleless—it's because some part of me knew what that freedom feels like, and yearns to have it for myself.

Sure, he was saddled, and I had the reins right there within reach in case I needed them, but seven years ago, the idea that one day I might be able to ride any horse, let alone Cheerios, bareback and bridleless (and stay alive) seemed unimaginable.

Today, we moved one step closer. It’s within reach. That I can canter him without holding onto ANYTHING... blows my mind. This might have been a tough year financially and such, but it’s been amazing horse-wise. He looks different, too. Softer. Friendlier. He looks more like Wildflower to me (expression, countenance) than the snorty devil horse.

I know... it’s really me that’s changed. But he’s changed, because of it.

I'd end on that note, but I have to post that after the clinic, life distracted me for a couple weeks to take care of estate business (good), and I just got out to the barn yesterday and today; and we've added BowTie to our repertoire. The oddest thing is, all of a sudden, since the clinic, I feel like I can really RIDE him now. His transitions are smoother, his gaits are slower, he's more relaxed, his trot—I keep looking around for the alien space ship that must've sucked up my horse and replaced him with this one because the jackhammer on a pogo stick trot is GONE! I dunno.

Something major has changed and it's wonderful. I hate to say it, but... could shortening my stirrups one hole really have made that much difference? If so, then, great. Thanks, Jesse, for fixing that.

BowTie went really well! He figured out really fast to change leads and canter after circling. We're doing simple lead changes already! Whoo-hoo!

I can't wait til spring. (Really. I can't. So I guess I'll have to keep riding through winter.) Have I mentioned that I love my horse? :-D

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