August 26, 2013
One of the things keeping me busy this year: I started taking riding lessons again. I had an opportunity to do some pretty serious riding on a retired FEI dressage horse named Thomas:
Isn’t he beautiful?
Riding an FEI horse (one who has competed at the upper levels, Grand Prix and Prix St. George and so on), even a retired one, is sort of like driving a Ferrari after spending years in a Honda Civic. You have to pay attention. He listens to everything, every little muscle twitch or change in posture you make. If he does something wrong, it’s because I told him to, whether I meant to or not. This was great for me — I had to be right, or Thomas wouldn’t do what I wanted him to do. This was exactly the practice I needed. Unfortunately, Thomas headed off to a new home last week. Sigh. I have to figure out what I want to do next on the riding front.
Some things I’ve learned: 1) “Real” dressage is different than eventing dressage, which is the dressage I’d mostly been doing. 2) I’d picked up some very bad habits in my years of cowgirling around on Rosie, and of not riding much at all after that. 3) And best of all, I still pretty much have my horse sense. Or as my friend calls it, my 18 ranks in Animal Control with a +5 for horses. I still get along with horses, and that makes me happy.