Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2019 >Daily Dispatch #184

July 6, 2019 At the End of a Long Day

The question that I now have is: are one’s perceptions of things at the end of the day (when, say, one is tired) as accurate as their perceptions at the beginning of the day (when, say, one is wide awake)?

It’s evening and I’m now reflecting upon what was a very long day. I usually want clinics to go on indefinitely, but this one is the exception. I want it to be over. I want to be back with Pete, on a pack trip. I want to again be experiencing the semi-nomadic lifestyle.

I now have mixed feelings about what was a very tough day. I usually make at least one life-long friend when I attend clinics. This isn’t going to happen here. The other attendees, who are endurance riders, are a tight knit group. They’ve been training and

Becky providing instruction
Becky providing instruction

doing rides together for years and they all ride Arabians. Here I am with my Icelandic horse. This does not compute.

The morning session, which consisted exclusively of body work with a focus on the four Centered Riding basics, went just fine. I knew the drill, from having attended innumerable past clinics. We did ball work, and trampoline work, and the lead the other rider (horse) work. I did learn a few new, related things, so this was of course well worth my time.

We rode in the afternoon, first there were group lessons consisting of two individuals and then we all rode together. Tyra and I, along with Susan and Huck, were in the last group lesson of the day. I hurriedly got Tyra ready for our lesson – it didn’t go as smoothly as it ought to have. I could not get the trailer storage compartment door open, so I couldn’t access my riding pants. I ended up wearing jeans because, unlike the others, I didn’t have tights.

I took Tyra in right before the previous lesson ended. She who had never before been in an arena was mystified by her image in the mirror. She stood for some time looking at herself. She wiggled her ears back and forth, and snorted. She moved close in on her other self, and then she backed away. This self-based fascination continued on during the entire 45 minute lesson. It reminded me of when Raudi was young and I first took her into an arena. She had the same reaction as Tyra.

I walked her around the arena before getting on, and kept her focus by having her go around cones and over poles, which I’d previously set up at the far end of the arena. I then mounted up. Becky immediately suggested that I raise my stirrups – this did improve my balance. I then moved on and used my following seat, and as well, I brought to mind Centered Riding founder Sally Swift’s four basics: centering, soft eyes, alignment, and breathing. Tyra, who is familiar with all this, relaxed some and became more focused.

However, at some point during this lesson there was some disconnect between me and this instructor. She spent increasingly more time working with Susan, leaving Tyra and me to figure out things on our own.

The class lesson followed our group lesson. Tyra’s shining moment went unnoticed except by me. We were in the center of the ring when all the other riders, en masse, on their horses, entered the enclosure. Tyra stood quietly and watch them come in. Many other horses would have pitched a fit. We then fell in behind the others. Becky then told the leader to trot to the end of the line. One by one, the other horses and riders did as told. Then it was our turn. Tyra, who did not fully understand what was being asked of her, began doing rear o lettes. I then became rattled. Finally, she trotted to the rear of the line. Becky said we’d talk about her behavior later, but the opportunity never presented itself.

I have a plan for tomorrow. I’ll do the group lesson and perhaps bow out of the class lesson. I have asked a lot of Tyra and she has thus far done a wonderful job. I’m so proud of her. She’s a truly centered horse.

Next: 185. 7/7/19: Clinic Mission Accomplished

Horse Care Home About Us Dispatches Trips Alys's Articles