Friday, October 05, 2007

Baby Steps. Working in Baby Steps

My blog for today is a lesson in riding lessons, for those of you who are unfamiliar. My mother took a series of rapid-shot pictures of me riding today, and let me tell you, nothing improves one's riding more than actually seeing how awful you look on horseback.

Perfection takes time. Allow me to critique this photo for you. 1) I am doing a wierd bobble-dog thing with my head. 2) My back is not upright at 90 degrees from the saddle. 3) The hands. My God, the hands are floating up in the air where they should be neatly near his neck. 4) My elbows. There is no give or bend in either of my elbows. 5) My Butt. It is waaaaay too far back in the saddle. 6) His nose. WHAT is he doing with his nose? It should be at a 90 degree angle from the ground. 7) His feet. The hind foot that is coming forward should be falling into the print of the front foot. This is called tracking up, and I am not making him do that.

Now, look at this picture:

My head looks less like one of those irritating bobbly-dogs you see in the back seats of family sedans. My hands are orderly, have a firm grip on the reins. My leg is a little further behind the girth; Zydo is tracking up with his feet, making firm, more stable strides. My back is at a better angle, although it should really be in a straight line. My shoulders are up and back, looking less hunched over and maniacal. (Ok, my toes are sticking out. Yeah. I noticed. SHUT UP ABOUT IT, already.)

At any rate, I just find it so frustrating because between the two jobs and classes and trying to, oh, you know, sleep a couple of hours a day so that I don't KILL YOU WHEN I FALL ASLEEP BEHIND THE WHEEL, I just have no time to work on riding. I love riding, and I love my horse. I want to be good so badly I can taste it.

But without the strength I need to improve, and without the time to work on that strength, I'm never going to get better.

Clearly, I need to decide if I'm going to meander around the yard on this horse once a week, or go out and find a personal trainer and get to the meat of this riding thing. And Fast.

At any rate, after our ride tonight, Zydo and I got back in the yard and had a bath. I've never bathed a horse of mine before, mostly because the other horses I've owned have been kind of unfriendly (Read: Had a desire to kill any people who came into contact with them.) But Zydo is such a friendly guy that I had to bath him before the cold sinks in.

So I did, and above you'll note where I said "Zydo and I got back in the yard and had a bath." Yes. We both got bathed in the process because it is kind of hard to contain water from a hose with a horse who is wandering around looking for the better grass.

But hey, he smells sweet and wonderful and he didn't tromp on my toes while I scrubbed him.

What more could I ask for?

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