Gosh has it really been so long since I have written?? My apologies indeed.
I certainly have a lot to update you on–horse related and otherwise!
The biggest reason for my writing absence is that I recently moved, and any of you who have ever moved know how daunting it can be. The funny, somewhat horse-related, part of that story is that I moved in with the owner of the horse I lease! Who would have guessed that when I got curious one evening and decided to take my first ever peek at craigslist on a whim that it would eventually result in me leasing my very first horse and finding a new friend (and roommate!) in the process.
Speaking of Kate, the big-hearted Belgian we all love, she is doing quite well in her training proving to be a lovely dressage prospect and an excellent longeing lesson horse as well. I couldn’t be happier with the progress I am making in my riding through my lessons. I’ll bring you back to a few months ago and a post I wrote about…dun dun duuuun the double bridle. Well guess what, I am in the process now of learning to use the double bridle with Kate thanks to the help of my instructor. I won’t deny that I am still learning to manage all those reins in my hands but Kate does so so well with it and it is helping me learn to just breathe and give with my fingers without having to worry about Kate all of a sudden remembering that she is a draft horse and could just yank me right out of the saddle if she felt like it. She seems very comfortable with it, so light and attentive.
My lessons are great because they help me learn how to do this stuff under the watchful eye of someone who knows and who can see things I can’t see when I’m working alone. Last night I rode Kate for a non-lesson ride but it was my first time dealing with the double myself. I did pretty well although it took me twice as long to bridle her than it normally does because I am still not used to dealing with all of the hardware. Once I got in the arena things started pretty well, the only hitch was that Bill was in giving back to back lessons and I already feel a little guilty for busting in on lessons because when I am having a lesson I know I’d rather have the arena to myself too. So I tried to be polite and stay mostly out of the way and go about our business. We did some bending and circles while warming up and Kate relaxed and became nice a round for those and then we did some walk-trot transitions which went pretty well, Kate gave me a nice trot and came back to me easily. I did a bit more trot work but it wasnt going quite as well, she wasn’t rounding up for me and in the one direction her shoulder kept squirting out around the turns. I think my reins were a little too loose but it seems harder to feel with the double so hopefully I will get better at that. We ended early because I was feeling a little bit of performance anxiety…with Bill there teaching and three other barn people watching the lessons I was feeling pretty exposed since this is only my second time riding with the double bridle. I know they are all very nice people and their comments would only be trying to help me but I’ll admit it- I hate looking like a novice while I’m learning something brand new. That sounds kind of counter intuitive but what I mean is that I would have liked a few more times riding with the double by myself and with my trainer before becoming a public spectacle for a bunch of experienced horse people. Sigh… working with horses is a consistently humbling experience. You have to start somewhere!