Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Portable Education

Saxony and I left the training barn on October 15th. That was a Monday. I gave her six days to settle back in at the old barn, which was easy to do because I'm readying to leave the festival site and return to the city. I was busy and dragging my feet at the same time. So much of the festival season for me was about my mare being just across the state line and both of us being in school. I wondered in the back of my mind did some of it, any of it, really take? I was hesitant to test us, because all of it seemed more real with our trainer right there, as though it were flowing from her, encircling us in just an illusion of skill.

I had it wrong. What we learned during our six weeks there, the progress we made, cured and set, hardening into actual knowledge on Sunday morning at the barn when I went through a schooling session with Saxony. Just her and me. In-hand work. Warm-up walk/trot. Shoulder in, haunches in, half pass. Oh, she knows it, and I kind of do too. The education we received proved to be completely portable. Maybe there can be no better endorsement of a trainer than that. I'm sure we lacked finesse, but we didn't lack focus, direction, or recollection. Understanding that is just one of what I'm sure will be many dividends to come out of our costly six weeks. It was a sound investment.

We have a basic curriculum to work on until we go back, me to lighten and quiet all my aids, her to grow stronger, rounder, rhythmic, better balanced. Trot, trot, trot, forward walk, trot, trot. B said to me, "I'll be able to tell if you've been working on your sitting trot."

But I have to back up. The week before we left, I stacked up lessons on Saxony, trying to cram it in with our departure  imminent. I had a lesson on Monday, another on Thursday, and then another on Friday. Between the Thursday and Friday lessons, I rode a different horse. This one.

He's a Lusitano stallion, "finished," so to speak. I'd never ridden a horse of his caliber, but the offer was made to enable me to feel the difference between my evolving mare and a horse who is all the way there. I'll write about him next. 


Wolfie said...

I love that your training was portable. :-) Really makes a difference to your confidence when you know you can do it on your own. OMG, that stallion is beautiful. How lucky are you to have been able to ride him!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, he's awesome, I bet it was an amazing ride.

Katie said...

How soon will you write about this???? You are killing me here! How lucky you are to have ridden such a caliber of a horse. A Lusitano stallion at that! What a dream come true!