Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2014 > Daily Dispatch #214

August 6, 2014: Lessons Learned: Go!!

I have never ever had a day in which I regretted purchasing Raudi. There have been some days in which I thought that perhaps I ought to sell her to someone who might better be able to bring out the best in her. As I have come to realize, that person is me. Yesterday was one of those days.

Went for a ride yesterday afternoon with Pete, who rode Tinni and ponied Hrimmi. We rode the Ridge Runner loop. There is a minimal amount of trail riding, and a maximum amount of road riding. It’s a residential ride, so there’s always something out there which could conceivably cause a horse concern.

Today it was a parked semi, across from it on the other side of the road was a trailer bed. And past this, by the yard’s edge, considerable gardening paraphernalia. Raudi was attentive to all this, as well as to barking dogs hanging out on a cabin porch. However, she was attentive but not at all reactive.

We continued on our way, and once we got to the upper part of Murphy Road, I put Raudi behind Tinni and Hrimmi. Pete asked Tinni and Hrimmi to trot – and Raudi I kept Hrimmi moving, Raudi taking up her lovely rocking horse canter, and maintained it for the duration of the ride. At the turnoff onto Oceanview, I got off her and walked her the rest of the way home. This was her reward for having done such a good job.

Tonight was lesson. I’d been rereading Jane Savioe’s two books -- It’s Not about the Ribbons and That Winning Feeling, both excellent books on the subjects of creative visualization and the power of positive thinking. Both are written in the context of dressage riding, three day eventing, and show jumping. These examples, and especially the jumping – seem more applicable to me than previously.

I few things (of many) that since reading these books have stuck with me:

Athletes can reduce the amount of training/practice time by envisioning the event they are to participate in. For example, those jumping should envision themselves in the setting, and as well, what they’re wearing. In addition, they should bring to mind their position in the saddle, and clean rounds.

Savoie also includes relaxation exercises in her book, one of which is to first inhale, make a fist, and think relax. Then you exhale, relax the fist, and say relax. After, you snap your fingers, so as to better make the connection between the mental and physical activities.

Also important – one must always speak in the affirmative if they’re serious about doing well at whatever it is they’re attempting to do. For instance, saying that your horse is confident, bold, and forward will come to be if you articulate it several times beforehand.

All the above cited instances are based on the premise that the conscious and the subconscious are working together. So if one’s self perceptions are positive, one’s inner actions will follow suit.

I took all of the above (and there is more) into consideration last night. I began the class in my usual way, by walking Rosie around the arena, then riding her around it. My friend Heather was with me. All the while, I extolled Rosie’s virtues, by telling her what a great horse she actually is. In fact, at one point I told her that Rosie is the greatest horse in the whole world, to which Heather looked at me in disbelief – this because she thinks her horse Rio is the greatest horse in the whole world. I should have added that yes, they’re ALL great horses. And furthermore, if everyone believed this, the horse world would be a much better place. But I didn’t because lots was going on.

The class began with us beginners going first. (I am still in the beginner class, and happy to be there.) We first alternated between doing a posting trot and trotting in two point, me thinking about keeping my butt back, like Beth had previously told me to do. Next, we went over poles at a trot, alternating going left and going right, in a large circle. And after that we went over ground poles and a single cross jump, doing this first in one direction and then the other. This was followed by our doing two cross jumps on one side of the arena, going both ways, and then our doing two cross jumps on both sides of the arena, going both ways.

Rosarita (this is what Beth called her last night) was asked to take the lead, and she did not disappoint. There were a few refusals early on, but she took the two sets of cross jumps in fine fashion. She wowed all with her enthusiasm, spirit, and rocking horse canter. At one point Marie complemented us, and I attempted to downplay our success, by saying “yeah, we made it over the jumps but it wasn’t pretty.” I then I caught myself and said “Actually, yes, we did really well!”

At the conclusion of our lesson Beth came over to me, looked directly into my eyes and said “Rosie did very well tonight. I am proud of you both!” I then said that I have been reading Savoie, to which she said “that’s a great choice of books!”

“Big plans for next year” Beth then said. To which I replied, “Someone told you!” “No, no!” she said. I then realized that quite obviously, we are thinking the same thing. This is that next year, Rosie and I will do a jumping class or two at a local show.

I think it’s good to have goals, and this would be a fun one. I would, of course, most like to do another long trip, but this is going to have to wait until Hrimmi is old enough to go along. So in the meantime, Rosie/Raudi and I will find other ways of moving forward. What fun it all is.

Next: 215. 8/7/14: Groundhog Day and the Garden of Weedin’