Monday, August 10, 2015
A Fundamental Shift
Anyways. He said something that stuck with me: "Once we get the thoroughbred to work for us, they are very cool horses."
And I remember that when he said it, I was just kind of upset. Courage and I were having lots of problems (like not turning right) (or getting along) and I just wanted to scream "THIS HORSE FIGHTS ME EVERY STEP OF THE WAY".
Which is true. He did.
But since then, we've ridden in several dressage clinics and taken a good number of lessons with our on-site dressage coach. And if I were more competitively-minded, I'd complain about how slow we're going with Courage and how we ought be farther along.
But you know what?
I put a solid dressage ride on Courage the other day. He started out stiff and unbending. We worked through it. Then he got rushy. We worked through it.
Then we were just trotting along in a perfectly fine training level balance to the left, and like... Courage slowed his cadence a little. Kept his stride length the same. Reached down into the contact. Maintained impulsion from his hind end. Swung through his whole back. We were probably going 40% slower than we had been 2 steps earlier, but now my posting took twice as long and we were covering the same amount of ground.
And I hadn't even asked for it. That was Courage, working for me, trying to figure out what I wanted.
Guys. A tear.
What's more, I was able to consistently replicate it going to the left. We aren't quite there to the right yet, but that's ok. We always get things to the left first.
I'm really kind of overwhelmed. Yeah, this year has been slow in terms of progress, but by taking things slow and really showing Courage what I want and helping him understand, we've built a whole new partnership. We certainly still have our spats (and I suspect always will), but there's an element of our relationship that didn't exist before.
You guys. He's trying for me now. And that is very cool.