mostly about the big horse, with a digression on the wife

Woke up this morning thinking, worst case scenario, Bella’s still sore and I have to ride Jackson in the Grand Prix arena. Then I thought, I’ll just jump smaller jumps. Done it before, can do it again. (A couple of months ago when Bell was being naughty I was busted down to crossrails!) And sure enough I had to ride Jacks in the Grand Prix, and we jumped smaller jumps, and it was FINE.

I’ve been spending cycles thinking about how I can improve my riding given that it’s just not practical to spend more hours in the saddle. Three things came to mind: first, have a better attitude; second, read more books about riding; and third, use visualization.

Attitude: I need to make the most of every minute in the saddle, which means paying attention every minute of the lesson, taking criticism gratefully, letting go of my ego and accepting that making mistakes is part of the process. Books: my Kindle is now full of equitation textbooks and I’ve already gleaned a ton of ideas, such as visualization and having a better attitude. Visualization: before every course now I try to not only learn what jumps we’re jumping, but also to feel how the course will ride, what rhythm we’ll need, where the sticky parts are, where to sit still and go forward. What it will feel like. That, surprise! Is helping me develop my feel.

Salome came to cheer me on and we talked without stopping for several hours, about horses and children and love and art. We sat in the sun at the Crissy Field Center watching the shadows move across the Golden Gate Bridge, and I felt so, so happy and lucky.

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