Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lessons from the Golden Mare

Watching as Boo ate her dinner last night and beginning to form plans for the warmer weather, we were moved to give her a grateful hug. The boys each got one, as well, no less appreciated.

So what? Let's see.

We have a new gig, helping exercise some wonderful school horses at a local barn. Most are older, many Western trained Quarter Horses, a couple of appendix or Thoroughbreds, a couple of ponies - all safe for this oldster to literally get back in the saddle. Two of these we have known for some time in different contexts, and are pleased to find these two have a meaningful and supportive life. We have ridden four of the nine so far, and are impressed with their willingness to move forward, bend, respond to light aids and body language. The barn manager has done a wonderful job developing these diverse mounts as well-schooled and reliable equine teachers.

Regardless, our rides have produced horses who understand us and work with impulsion, softness and flexibility. We realized this is significant as all have ridden the way we want our horses to ride.

And Boo is the reason for this new consistency in our riding. We have changed as a rider because she has made us listen to and feel the total horse. Boo has instilled in us the language of correctness and fairness, correct because we have to be so in order for clear understanding from our partners, fair because we are a team only when there is this clarity between us.

We began riding at 5 years old, 57 years ago. What had been instinctive was disrupted in adulthood by fear and caution and the need to control. Now, the instincts are returning, tempered with growing wisdom and deep love for our equine partners.

Thank you, Sunshine PeekaBoo, for sharing your wisdom.

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