Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2020 >Daily Dispatch #54

February 24, 2020: That which Still Alludes Me

It was the final day of this four-day clinic. I’m now putting on my travelling shoes. The only footwear that I brought with me was my hiking boots. I should have brought running shoes. I was attempting to travel light. This was a mistake – these shoes are clunky, heavy, and often damp on the inside.

I spent the last three nights in the big house – had my own room. I shared a bathroom with Susan Harris, the clinician. This worked out quite well.

I am now in the one room tiny house. It has lighting and heat. It has a sink; I’ve been given a jug of water and a five-gallon bucket (with a plastic bag) to shit in. There isn’t much space here, particularly compared to where I’ve been. But I will sleep well here.

The question is, could I live in a space this small? There wouldn’t be any room for books. I guess I could put a board over the sink and call it a desk. I’d have to pare down my clothes and accessories.

It was a tough day. I learned a great deal, as I did on days one to three. This was after the fact; the fact being a lengthy pre-ride discussion with Susan about my riding-related progress. Essentially, I’m still riding

Cows in the mud
Cows in the mud

with my legs in what’s known as the chair position. I would, Susan said, be in better balance if my legs were in a more down position.

Susan did work with me on this during my group ride. I had heard what she’d said before, from other Centered Riding clinicians. This time, I really grasped what she and others were getting at. And I now know what I need to do in order to rectify the situation. I feel good about this.

I just wish that Susan had talked with me about this prior to my last day’s ride. I might then have been able to show her that I’d internalized what she’d said. Susan’s commentary indicated to me that she’s not yet going to write me a letter, so I won’t be eligible to become a Level II Instructor, which was my hope in participating in this particular clinic.

And so, how do I feel about this? I of course have mixed feelings. After all, I’m only human. On the one hand, I very much respect Susan’s judgement. She’s the best and one of the most experienced clinicians around, and very accurate in her assessments. I have no doubt about this. She said that I’d done a very good job instructing and that I’d made considerable riding-related progress. What she didn’t also figure in is that my progress has been self-based. I have not had access to a competent instructor.

Well, my instructor status really makes no difference in the great scope of things, the same being true of my EMT status. It all is what it is. I am pleased about the fact that Susan verified that I’m making progress as a rider, and furthermore, I know what I need to continue to do. For this, I am most appreciative.

Next: 55. 2/25/20: At El’s

Horse Care Home About Us Dispatches Trips Alys's Articles