Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2015 >Daily Dispatch 137

May 25, 2015: Day Four: Final Day of Centered Riding Instructor Clinic

Tonight I feel like I felt when I was bicycle touring and left behind that I’d just met and spent time with. A bit sad, a bit cheered by the chance meeting, not ready to move on but accepting of the fact that this is the way life is. Change is a constant, may as well embrace it.

I’m the last to leave Anita Dayton’ K.I.S.S. farm. I’m still here and will be here until tomorrow evening, when I get on the Amtrak train and head for Portland, Oregon.

All day, as we were riding, instructing, and being presented with new information, people seemed to be focused on moving on. Some are going by plane, and some are going by car. Another cause for concern is that it’s the end of Memorial Day weekend, so there will be a lot of holiday traffic. Best that I wait this one out and not deal. Avoiding travel stress is always a good thing.

I could have left this evening but this would have inconvenienced Rex and Anita, who all evening long have been taking clinic attendees to and fro. So I am instead inconveniencing them by sticking around an

extra day. I am Alys who has taken up residence on the sofa with Buster the dog.

Buster is a truly great dog who has an old soul. I learned that he’s half Aussie and half border collie, just like Jenna. However, I don’t know if he has Three Ring Circus in his pedigree. The first difference between the two is that Jenna is black and white while Buster is tri-colored. The next difference is that Jenna lacks a tail while Buster has his. Hardly seems fair. All dogs should have a tail that they can wag.

It was another good clinic day, even though a chunk of it was taken up with centered riding administrative and saying good bye to people. In the end, it didn’t feel like a four day, but rather a three day clinic.

The focus of the morning lecture/hands on demonstration was on hands and elbows, and holding the reins lightly. Then after, we rode. I was fortunate in that I was again able to ride Katina. I said before the lesson that I had a huge agenda – I wanted at the lesson’s conclusion to ride her at the walk, trot, tolt, and canter. As it turned out, I rode her at the tolt most of the lesson. I later worked her over poles, in an attempt to get her to trot. This is because using poles breaks up the footfall pattern. Katina did as asked, going over the poles at a trot, then holding this gait for a few more strides after.

I also discovered that if I was just a tad behind vertical (with my torso) that Katina would pick up the pace. Beforehand, Susan talked with us all about the rhythm of the gaits. Overall, it was tough to be in a class in which the other students were riding three gaited horses while I was riding a five-gaited horse. What I had reaffirmed, and what others learned, was that there are two differing sensibilities in working with two and five gaited horses and their riders.

Next: 138. 5/26/15: Down Time

Horse Care Home About Us Dispatches Trips Alys's Articles