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July 10, 2015: Fear

There it is, that big, bad word: Fear. Would there be fear if there was not a word for it? Well, there it is, and so those of us who have internalized some or all of its components must deal.

Today, early on, I went for a ride with Pete. Took Raudi et al. up and down the Bench Trail. I did not push her today. Instead I let her go at her own pace, up and down the hill. I decided that as long as she keeps walking at a brisk pace, that I’m okay with it. Keeping her from grabbing at grass was a battle that I finally realized that I’d never win. Eating relaxes her. And knowing that she’s relaxed makes me feel less fearful. So be it. It was with this in mind that we had



the best downhill ride ever. And after, she walked at a leisurely pace when on Raudi’s Racetrack.

I was more than pleased. I vanquished my fear by using my acronym – Greatest of All Time, and just once, in a tough downhill spot, sang the barnyard son.

I later went over to the Saddle Up arena and gave Kathleen Kavalock a riding lesson. Kathleen, who is a neighbor of sort, had during out pack trip expressed concern about riding Geisha, her gray freckled Arab mare. I told her I’d give her a lesson when we got back, and this is what I did.

I am now thinking that my lesson was borderline brilliant. I wrote some centered riding-related acronyms on a yellow notecard, and before handing this over to Kathleen, I used it as a guide – breathing, soft eyes, grounding, and core.

We began the lesson by talking about these basics. Then the most cool thing of all happened. Pete stopped by Kathleen and her husband Tony’s place last night and gave them a six-pack for checking in on Jenna when they got home. He subsequently mentioned to me that Kathleen had purchased new boots. I took note of the boots and remarked that this could be her acronym. Kathleen, when presented with the word boot came up with “Being Obviously On Top, Seated.”

Perfect. And her song was “these boots are made for walking.” Talk about serendipitous – this was just right.

Kathleen and I reviewed the centered riding basics, with her leading Geisha and me telling her again what they were. We then did the same, with her in the saddle. I also worked on the concept of grounding, by using a corkboard and jiggling it under her feet. After, I did bubbling springs. All the while she was wearing my vest.

Lastly, I had Kathleen ride with her eyes closed while I lead Geisha. I then called it quits, telling Kathleen that she would not have to go any faster than a walk in the upcoming despooking clinic.

I’d say that the lesson was an unabashed success. This was the second lengthy lesson that I’ve given – the first was with Heather. And before that, I gave Dick several lessons.

I am really glad that I went to the pony club clinic and spent time with Daniel Stewart. I’m now very eager to learn more. I don’t like feeling like I’m not moving forward. I become fearful when this happens. But this is the subject for yet another dispatch.

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