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May 1, 2017: Down Time

Now back in Schenectady – this morning I was in Cortland, NY. The day began with a lunge line lesson, provided by Linn Sweeney, who owns Irish Acres farm and was the clinic/workshop host. It was a gift, and it was.

I was lunged on her large pinto horse, Keltic, a horse with just the hint of an attitude. I watched her first work him – I could tell immediately that there was a communicative bond between the two. I also noticed that in asking him to trot, she would first say one, two, three; a good idea because horses do not immediately pick up on cues.

I enjoy being lunged because this reduces my dependency upon the reins and also better enables me to find my seat. This is also something that I am not able to do when home because it requires the person on the ground to communicate signals to the horse and rider both, as they are going around in a circle.

This time around I learned to post in a softer manner, bringing my pelvis up to my hands. Once again, my stirrups were raised. Linn noticed that my ankles were tight and had Colleen do some body work on them. This made all the difference in the world.

Later, Colleen and Linn and I talked about a bit more about tempo, the speed of the horse, which comes from the core, and rhythm, this comes from the movement of the hips. There is a backpedaling motion, round and round. Now, supposedly, one is to envision the energy in the core when going for speed and the movement of the hips when going for rhythm. I still don’t yet fully understand the concept, but I am getting it.

The trip to Schenectady was as eventful as I wanted it to be. There was a car accident on the far side of the highway. Colleen, who trains EMTs, parked the car by the side of the road and went over to see what was going on. Turns out that she was the second responder. So she was busy for a bit. I had to move the car from the side of the road off the asphalt because Linn, in the front passenger seat, could not get out. I finally did it. Like most things, it was not as hard as I envisioned it to be.

Now here, back at Karol and Sally’s place, and settling back into a now familiar routine. I said hello to Gabby who did not whinny when I came up to her and in fact turned away. She clearly had not forgiven me for leaving. Well, as I told her, we are going to have to take our friendship day-by-day. I do think she understands this.

It was tough leaving Cortland – Colleen said that I could stay for a while and teach some lessons and make some money. It was tempting because I made some good friends in a short amount of time. But on the other hand, I did feel a sense of loyalty to Karol and Sally, who additionally are working to make me a better teacher and rider. And this right now is what is most important to me.

Next: 122. 5/2/17: High Points

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