Saturday, February 23, 2008

Day One

Up super early. Dogs off to the vet, and back home. Hooked up trailer, gave Chew a bath, and off we went.

Traffic was minimal to non existent. Toll 130 passed Austin turned out to be a super saver on my stress level.

Arrived to find a small place, many horses. Particularly surprised no fence around the arena. Makes fine for dressage, but quite stressed for jumping at any decent leve, I’d assume.

Got Chewie settled in his stall / paddock. Surprised by two great danes, one of which had her nose in whatever I happened to be doing.

Worked for an hour ‘on the ground’. I was asked to imagine a blue marble at the top of my neck, a pink marble just behind my heart, and a bowling ball settling into my pelvis. Getting myself where I was supposed to be landed me in what felt like leaning forward, looking down. Instructor seemed to be happy, but I didn’t notice much change in me. Maybe deeper breathing, but the overall equitation just seemed wrong.

Tacked up, and then the famous “this doesn’t fit right, you need to buy ____ to protect his back from injury.” Each instructor thinks I need to go out & buy something.. doesn’t seem to matter who it is, they all have their opinions. Opinions are like ____, everybody has one. Anyway, moving on, Chewie was tacked in his normal stuff, and while there may be “uneven contact” or “bridging”, his overall attitude lately hasn’t reflected any discomfort.

She lunged Chewie at walk, for, oh, about 3 minutes, then launched me up there. He spent a few minutes nervous & concerned, probably from my own nerves & concern. We repeated the same centering drills, with Chewie at the walk. Centering the head & chest were easy. Getting in my mind the image of a bowling ball settling in my pelvis is very difficult. I’m just not feeling it . worse, when it’s “right”, I can’t feel any change in him. I can feel when I think I’m right, and he shortens his stride. Instructor was quite happy when he fully halted, which seems wild. If “halt” is what we’re going for, I can get that much easier than with anything she’ll try to teach us. I’ll exhale sharp, put on the air brakes, problem solved. He stops.

Had an average dinner that was pretty good. It’s nearly after 9, and, starting the day at about 5am, I’m exhausted.

Maybe more in the morning when I can translate the lessons in my sleep.

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