Sunday, June 6, 2010

not a blank slate

I guess sometimes it is how something is worded. “What did you learn in your lesson?” If I’d answered that question, I would have said “nothing” but I took a clue from my brilliant son and answered a different question instead, with basically what I said on this blog about the lesson. It was a great lesson but I can't say I "learned" something because, to me, it takes more than that to learn something.

Then I was told that Andre had said privately, “I wish people wouldn’t use the term ‘forward‘ at all.” Well, since I’m the only one on the farm who ever talks about forward, I’m feeling a bit defensive about that one.

I don’t come to this thing tabula rasa, I have knowledge and experience and opinions and biases already, and one of the things I really really think is, you have to go forward. I know rhythm and regularity are at the base of the training scale, but I also know that you have to go forward to BE rhythmic and regular. I’m not a blithering idiot; I know that “forward” does not mean “faster tempo”. But people, a gate cannot be “pure” if it lacks forwardness (like a four beat canter); people cannot learn to post on a horse who is jogging; etc.

Ok, now that I’ve got that off my chest. I’m sure I shouldn’t take it personally. I'm sure I shouldn't take it personally but I swear I am the only one on that farm who ever says that word.

So, I rode today. I just saddled quickly and went out back and walked that hill three times. Then I cantered in the back ring. My thoughts were on fitness today, and relaxation, and doing something different.

I will ride this out, in Andre and Lisa's way. I recognize that I am riding by grace and that I am not autonomous. I'm afraid sometimes of wanting too much. I afraid sometimes of wanting too much to be good.

I will ride their way and take my own lessons from it.

But I am good, damn it.


CG said...

Re-reading that, I'm struck with how much that sounds like my hero uncle who used to say, "Damn I'm good" all the time! Oh, this is very good if I am channeling him. I don't wish to offend anyone with any of this but I would like to channel him.

clairesgarden said...

perhaps Andre finds it to difficult to teach 'forward'. I recently tried to help somebody with medium trot, the words I used were to gather your centre below your belly button, and then project it out to make 'more forward', before that she only got canter but after some concentration she extended her trot a bit. only a bit becuse I think most of what I said went over her head.

CG said...

I think most of what a teacher does in riding is find many different ways to say the same thing . . . and then to be the riders eyes, to see things for us. And it was only reported to me, so I don't know how it was said or anything. But, but . . . we weren't talking lengthen the trot here, but being plum pokey, sticky, joggy.

clairesgarden said...

I am probably repeating something an instructor has said to me, I'm not any good at teaching.

CG said...

I bet you are! I think teaching takes seeing, you have to have the eye for it.