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June 30, 2017: Bones for Life/Life for Bones

Went to Bones for Life class tonight and had an evening session. Had to hustle because beforehand Pete and I went for a ride, me riding Raudi and him riding Hrimmi. A great ride, the trails are now nearly dry. There are only a few places where they have been chewed up by ATVs.

I am working on being forward, now literally putting figurative movement aside for a bit. When Raudi halts, I attempt to get her going by becoming lighter in my seat. I also use my upward breath and put my hand on my head, pressure from head rising to meet the downward pressure from my hand. This works about 75 percent of the time. It is (of course) the other 25 percent of the equation that I need to be most concerned about. I do know now

that becoming more forward involves being more vertical, and that when I am more vertical, Raudi is better able to shift her weight back onto her haunches and move out. She is this physically astute, which is sometimes hard for me to believe.

I also am (when she is moving) focused on the movement of her rear legs in correspondence to my hips. Her outside right rear leg moves forward, her belly moves to the left and my right hip goes up. I now understand this.

And when I’m trotting my seat moves on a diagonal, in the direction of my pelvis.

I need (still) to set aside my concern about her going too fast – and if she does, slow her down by focusing on verticality. No slumping. I also need to maintain contact with the reins – don’t take or give too much. It is hard for me to break old habits, for sure.

Tonight in class we worked for some time on bringing our awareness to our lumbar spine, by noting its movement at the walk. I felt minimal movement – previously I felt nothing. We also worked on bringing our awareness to our cervical spine. I felt considerable movement here, I previously felt limited movement. We also worked on bringing our awareness to our thoracic vertebrae, in part by breathing into my sides, in this way expanding my ribcage. I am, on the ground, looking forward to doing all this on horseback.

It is quite easy for me to forget how far I’ve come with all this. I could actually go make more progress if I spent more time doing the awareness work at home, in the living room. For this to happen, I am going to have to slow the pace of my life down some. I am conscious of this, but not yet taking action. It’s like lifting one foot and holding it in the air, rather than setting it down. When finally, I do move it forward and set it down, I will have arrived. But then, the rear foot is going to have to move too. Ohh, and then there are the four feet of the horse which must be considered. Too much to think about right now.

178. 7/1/17: How I Became a Farm Frau – and Learned to Love Raw Milk

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