Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

A canter is a cure for every evil. ~Benjamin Disraeli

So we were talking about "overcoming instinct" today. Denny told us about a conversation he had w/ a retired major general who was in charge of the US Special Forces (n if you've been reading this more than a day or two, you'll know of course that I totally don't remember his name. I suppose I really *should* start paying attention to those details :) -- but still pretty impressive job. Anyways he apparently was talking about how if a team is ambushed, their instinct is to turn and run -- which will, more often than not, get them killed. So they have to be taught in that instance to run INTO the ambush -- preferably firing their weapon the whole way.

Theory being of course that if people can be taught to overcome the strongest of self-preservation instincts, surely we can learn to override significantly less critical instincts like say jumping ahead or constantly looking down... Just something to consider the next time your coach nags you about something you've heard a million times before :)

Speaking of -- I haven't been told to shorten my reins in ages. Not sure if they're actually shorter or if Denny's just given up >;-P hahaha but I *do* at least pay attention to it now, although they do occasionally still get a *little* long I must admit...

oh and another recounted conversation w/ the same person -- What is the perfect age? The age where physical ability: strength, reflexes, flexibility, et al merges with mental ability: reason, control, logic, etc The ability to plan a mission, figure out all the inherrent issues/consequences, and the physical ability to carry it out... That'd be... 30! hahahha woohoo! I win. Of course this has absolutely NO practical application to my life, but it amused me sobeit.

Random theory of the day: "don't neglect the canter". The most important gait because, among other things, *every* stadium course you ever jump will be in it. And a significant portion of your dressage test. And possibly parts of your XC course (the most critical parts @ that -- like 2 strides before the coffin!). Also usually the only gait w/ a moment of suspension aka natural lift... What you're trying SOOOO hard to accomplish in the other gaits happens all by itself in the canter (albeit to varying degrees depending what you're sitting on :) School the canter w/in the canter for its own sake. Then school the canter to improve the trot (particularly effective on the less-than-energetic horses :)

BOTH horses were superstars today -- even though it was insanely windy. So even though no jumping (so sad -- we don't do nearly enough jumping as far as reaching my goals while I'm here goes. The only down side so far), was still a really great day. AND turns out Sienna is totally kewl with the farrier. Finally Tim won't have to cringe every time I call >;-P hahaha (for those not aware of the background, the last two chestnut mares have both been ummmm shall we say less than cooperative for the farrier)... AND he says her feet are actually really good, they just haven't been looked after. I had been thinking as much, but not really holding my breath, so was good to have confirmed.

Oh and windy days -- yeah sweeping an outdoor aisle, in the fall, on a crazy-windy day, is about the most futile task out there. Just for the record.


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