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July 20, 2018: Remaining Flexible

There is a huge correspondence to be made between the mind and the body. I used to think that this was too general a topic to think, much less write about. Now I know that there is a connection and this connection is extremely important.

I am not feeling as flexible as I was because I have not been doing my body awareness work. When I ride, I’m feeling creaky. My lower back hurt yesterday but was okay today. This lack of physical wherewithal has had an effect on my mental wherewithal.

It’s odd, but as the CTR has drawn closer, I have pared down what I’ve been doing. I have not been adhering to my morning schedule – body work, reading, and writing – rather, my focus has been on getting out and riding.

Alys doing body work
Alys doing body work

I’ve been enjoying the riding. In fact, riding Raudi is now something I look forward to. I now feel as confident on her as I do on Tinni. It was a long time in coming, and in part, for this reason, I am enjoying this immensely. Most logically, riders become more confident over time. I hit a certain point on the curve and I stayed there. Then this past two months I rocketed up this curve. I think that this was because I knew what I needed to do, and with Pete’s help, I did it. I rode in different places and in differing terrain. I most likely had to be at a certain place on this curve in order for this to occur.

My more relaxed attitude is also having a positive effect on my horsemanship abilities. I give Raudi a cue, say for backing, and require that she does what I ask. Before, I used to let things slide. It’s also helped that Sarah makes time for this on trail rides.

Today we practiced being evaluated by the judges, with a focus on trotting our horses out for observation. Before and after, I had Raudi stand next to me. Used to be, in that very area, she’d pull towards the grass and I gave in. These days there is very little fight.

I’m enjoying riding Raudi so much that I am having a hard time now switching gears. Tomorrow I am going to the barefoot trimming clinic (how esoteric is that?) in Anchorage. Pete and Joshua, our farrier, are also going. And we are taking Tinni along.

Right now I would just as soon spend the weekend riding. This is a decided lack of flexibility because hoof care is important. With the little knowledge I’ve acquired reading Pete Ramey’s book, I deduced that Hrimmi should go barefoot and that she should have boots. So far, this is working out quite well. The boots do make a terrible clippy clop sound – but this is a small price to pay for her having increased proprioception in her feet. And I am wondering (and hope to find out) if say, Raudi, who has shoes, has less proprioception.

It is just going to be a matter of shifting my mind set so that I avail myself of this opportunity and learn as much as I can about the topic. It really is that the timing of this clinic isn’t as good as it might be. I would say otherwise if I was more mentally flexible.

Well, this weekend will go fast. Next week my focus will be on getting ready to ride in the CTR. I’ll clean up gear and make sure that everything is in order. During this time the ponies will get a break. Then next weekend I will get to ride for two long days. And after? Back to working at being physically flexible again.

Next: 202. 7/21/18: Tinni goes to Town

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