Typically on my blog I try to keep things fairly positive. I’m not an optimistic person by nature, and over the last few years I’ve worked really hard to see the glass as half full in all areas of my life. But today, I’m going to bitch and whine to ya’ll. So strap in, grab the popcorn, and pop the cork on some wine: today’s blog post is gonna be a dramatic one!
Sometimes when I think about Miles, I see things in columns. Pros versus Cons, What I Got versus What I Wanted, Things I Compromised On versus Pleasant Surprises. I don’t know if that’s normal or not, but one thing has been really on the forefront of my mind lately. Miles is a grumpy horse, which I knew when I bought him… but he’s much more grumpy than I originally anticipated. It can be a really frustrating quality sometimes, but instead of dwelling on what’s going wrong, I’d rather figure out what I can actively do to make things better.
‘Fraidy Cat Eventing had a really great blog post on two-point position not too long ago that resonated a lot with me. Her theory is that a rider has a solid position over fences if you can erase the horse from the picture, if the rider, (while maintaining the same position) drops straight to the ground, stays upright (you know, not face-planting or ass-planting). I really liked this description because you see so many different types of two-point from world-class riders that the definition of “perfect two-point position” gets easily muddled. Plus, I’ve always felt that rider body type isn’t taken into consideration enough in this discussion.
After feeling ‘blah’ for several weeks, I think I’ve finally turned a corner and am getting my mojo back. After writing down all the things I’m not happy with, I’ve put a few into practice and am already feeling better. So far I’ve really focused on two things: getting the horses moving forward off my leg, and increasing Miles’ topline musculature. I’ve tried a few different approaches, and I feel like I have a good plan in place now for both issues.
I have a lot of less-than-put-together thoughts bouncing around in my head about various aids, starting with hands. I find the role of hands in riding very interesting, because in different disciplines, the ideal position and use of the hands is both so similar and so different. I also think it’s one of the more difficult aids to truly master because it goes against our instincts. For me, it’s really easy to fall into habits with my hands without really realizing it.