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Of course the main question of the evening…will I get a decent night’s sleep? I doubt it…

I still haven’t heard from my vet’s office as to the time of the exam. As I live about 5 hours from this barn, I’m probably not going to be there for it. It’s a shame really, as I have a new digital camera waiting to take pictures of the new family member. I will know for sure in the morning.

We leave for Florida Saturday. I have had ice for feet all week. Time for warmth….

I’m back to Mueseler’s “Riding Logic” again. Such a good book….may be my favorite of all the “old” and “not so old” Dressage Masters. Although, now that I’m thinking about it, I am equally fond of Podhajsky….they are both very readable despite some rather stiff translations of the material.

One of my favorite devices of “Riding Logic” is how Mueseler has these boxed illustrations….every once in a while as you read you come upon a box without a picture. Instead, he’ll have a text. There are two examples I take very much to heart as they represent how I have “felt,” in every sense of the word, during my learning process. There’s a box #2 named, “The Correct Seat.” on page 11 of my edition that reads: “Deliberately, no sketch is shown of a ‘correct seat’ as much too much harm can result from over-emphasising an ideal in purely graphic depiction. Balance,  Relaxation,  Following the horse’s movements cannot really be shown graphically, nor ‘feeling’ described…”

What’s wonderful is that this ‘ illustration box’ depicts the bones of a great discussion of  a so-called regulation ‘correct seat” that trainers are often  guilty of pushing: a “prototype” seat…which can actually do more harm than good! I finished that chapter thinking about all my stiffness’ that various trainers attributed to my starting riding  as an adult. Mueseler has a spirited discussion about how the stiffness grows out of forcing a rider into a ‘prescribed position”….makes you think hard about how force applies negatively to the rider as well as the horse! How much of my lack of independence in my seat is a result of being made to conform to an idealized picture…?  He talks of heel position, bracing the  back, tons of things…such a ‘must” read!

The other non-illustration box # 33, page 72  is titled: “How a Horse looks which is listening to the aids.” And inside Mueseler writes: “No illustration of a horse listening to the aids is given in order to avoid a wrong emphasis on external appearance.  HARMONY between HORSE AND RIDER does not exist in time as might be caught by an isolated sketch. It is best expressed, not by the horse having a special carriage, but by the complete and constant accord of two living bodies in every moment.”

I find that beautifully said.

Wouldn’t it be nice if some of our judges were required to memorize stuff like this?

No matter the outcome tomorrow….even if this horse doesn’t pass…I am so grateful for these last two weeks. I’ve been reading, watching videos, and studying. I’m journaling here. I’ve been doing an honest evaluation of my capabilities as a rider. I’ve focused on some of my insecurities handling a young horse….just soul searching, I guess!

But it all translates into what I can bring to my horses and my riding….so thanks, Christmas Horse!

Cherish the ride everyone….and read your classics!!!