Archive for June 10th, 2012

Graduation!

amywink June 10th, 2012

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Last week, after my tough lesson with Dol —leg yield!!– and my wonderful drive with Blessing, I hung out a little at Francine’s watching the gorgeous horses get worked. I also watched Dol find a new home. I knew it was always a possibility, since it is a training barn and Francine and Malen’s business is training and selling horses. The person who came out to ride her had already fallen for her earlier in the year and so I was not surprised when I returned this week to find that Dol had indeed found a new home. I wish her all happiness–and her new owner too! I learned so much from Dol after 2 years of driving lessons and 6 months of riding lessons and there were MANY times when I was astounded at my good fortune to be able to drive and ride the top Andalusian mare in the country.

I did wonder at who I might be riding next, though I also wondered if I’d get a riding lesson this week at all. And really, it would have been fine to take a week out and just drive my own mare and relax from the week. I did get to drive Blessing and she was more mature in her work ethic this week and we had a nice drive with only a few comments about my driving from her ears. We even got to drive alone while Malen set up cones and all went very well. I believe she’ll be able to come home midsummer and we’ll commence on our adventure of home driving. Blessing is a gorgeous mare but she does have a bit of ‘tude and we’ll be working on that together. It is really interesting to see the differences between her and Will and to learn to drive her. She is fortunate that I am a much better driver now and I am fortunate because I understand things much better now than when I started with Will–my Good Will Driving. We shall have to see what transpires in the next year as I work with her and proceed with putting the two together as a pair.

As I said, I would have been perfectly fine with a driving lesson alone yesterday but once we were done, Malen asked “Do you think you’re ready to ride BB?”

My response: “Do *you* think I am ready to ride BB??” even while my heart sang at the chance.

I had driven BB once and he was the most wonderful driving experience and like this very moment about riding, it had signified a leap in my driving skills and the respect of my trainer.

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I knew I’d really have come a long way if I ever had the chance to ride BB.

And yes, Malen thought so. Of course, BB thought he’d see if I was brave enough and as Malen lounged him, he performed his best Airs Above the Ground and Nose to Ground and Bucking Bronc imitations while she laughed. I was not really deterred by his antics though it did seem he might have to have quite the workout before I got on him. And so he did. And really, watching him was enjoyable and I didn’t feel any signs of apprehension or the ticking of unexploded bombs and I was ready once he was ready.

Now, if I was writing a children’s book, this would have been the moment at which I discovered by wonderfully natural ease in the saddle and I would be able to ride as exquisitely as my trainer and my natural gifts would have blossomed in the moment and my natural path toward Olympic Gold would be revealed–all to the sounds of soaring violins.

Ah, that it were so….

Instead I performed as a poorly balanced sack of potatoes!! Dol’s width (and I mean that in the kindest way, Dol) had helped me balance in one way, but BB is a more slender and sensitive horse so finding my balance on him was Entirely New!! And as I tensed in weird places, he moved as if that was what I was asking him to do–clearly thinking “well, okay, that’s weird, but okay”. I was almost back to square one in my riding!! And it was hilarious. Even as I wobbled, my heart laughed and I laughed and I worked to get everything in gear and get us moving in the semblance of any particular direction, instead of our drunken path around the arena. I am certainly glad I was not using my GPS device during that lesson!!

But Triumph did arrive when I was finally able to ride the perimeter of the arena *relatively* straight and in both directions! What glory, what triumph! But no Olympic Gold….except in the contest of drunken riding.

But with BB, I am moving up in my riding and developing new skills and just as driving BB helped me drive Will better, so will riding BB. I am sure Will will appreciate all of the improvements once I get back on him later this summer. For now, I will be riding the beautiful Bay Boy Joyante.

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