February 13, 2011


Probably the most important thing I took away from my Thursday lesson is that it's all in the details.  It started with her teaching me how to lunge Dillan, and I was not entirely happy about that at first.  I was embarrassed at being shown how to do something so elementary with two other girls my age - advanced riders - in the ring.  But I quickly realized she did have quite a lot to teach me.

Lunging, for me, has always been something totally separate from riding.  I use it as a training tool...sort of...sometimes...but for the most part it's always been a tool to exercise the horse without a rider on.  But she started by telling me to hold the lunge line as if it were reins, and to think of the line as my inside hand and the whip as my outside leg.  Suddenly, so many things about lunging made sense.  She asked me to push him in and out on the circle with "my aids", just as I'd done in the previous lesson while riding.  Never before had I thought of the aids of lunging and riding as being equivalent.  

While thinking about this and while working through the rest of my lesson (in which we adjusted the trot through five different levels and worked on my terrifying canter departs) I realized that what separates people like my trainer and Mary from people like me is the attention to details like that.  I work so hard, but I neglect things that seem unimportant to my end goal, or I don't give them as much credit as I should.  Being successful with riding is all in the details, and I'm ready to start paying attention to them.

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