Here there be dragons...

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

Zen Riding

So today I was reminded how riding is *supposed* to be.

Being dressage week, there's no jumping going on.  And for the vast majority of my classes this is a very important part of life as there's a fair amount of flat-work to be learned.  And credit to the riders -- all are trying *very* hard.

But what do you do with the very novice class?  The class that can walk and trot and ride all the basic figures, but they're still just starting to canter and they're a long way from riding on contact or even basic lateral work.  There're also only two riders -- making games (the way I always *used* to entertain beginner groups) less of a viable option.  

Well today I had them working on two-point with no reins.  Arms out, airplane style.  Which had both girls giggling, but also being very successful.  And when I told them to go back to posting trot, I told them they could do whatever they wanted with their arms (thinking take back the reins or not...)   Now most adults will either go back to riding with the reins, or rest their hands on their thighs or their hips.   But not these girls!  hahaha airplane style ruled for a few moments, followed by a few random stretches.  All still pretty traditional, until Eve (who's all of 10) trots by sitting super-tall, with her elbows bent, hands chest level, palms-up with her thumb and middle finger touching lotus-style, and says "I'm zen".   I *think* there was video and/or photos -- if I get them, I'll post :)

hahaha couldn't help but laugh -- and yet at the same time think how much easier my job would be if the REST of us could do that.   How much of riding fails comes from tension or fear?  If we could zen-pose our way through whatever daemons we happen to be fighting on any given day, we'd all improve a whole lot faster!

Anyways - that was followed by a whole series of silliness that rivaled my Fri night uni class for humour factor.  We had riders disco dancing and YMCA (really?!?!  How/why do they even know that?)  And for the record - our only *almost* fatality came from over-exuberant disco, proving once more that it should be forever abolished.  There were also phone calls - sans phone - between riders, a sulky teenager to offset the zen child, several air-bands of all types.   Some dances that really should be long forgotten -- pretty sure I saw some Walk LIke an Egyptian happening.   And when the Macarena broke out I was instantly transported back to highschool (dating myself pretty seriously there :).   Pretty sure there was also some rodeo riding happening with riders working the lasso -- which *obviously* led to a wild-west shoot-out, with a dramatic death scene by Olivia.  You'll be happy to know she was quickly revived to continue her way through obsolete dances *g*

Anyways - it was a lot of fun and did a very good job of reminding me how riding's supposed to be.   Remember that somewhere between the child you once were and the woman you are now is a little girl who fell in love with a horse and never looked back.  Ride for her.

hahaha me at 8 or 9 -- red boots, bouncy pony tail, huge grin, and winning the race!

If you have any pics of "little you" on horseback, please share! 


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