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Had a newly two-week involuntary hiatus from the horses! I hate when that happens. I was driving to the barn today, thinking how my last rides {a great day….had a lesson on all three} were really jelling. Partially because I work hard to be a good student…and because as my herd is trained, their rideability really increases tenfold.

But two weeks off is two weeks off. So no matter that I did spin classes, the elliptical, an intro to TRX…..these workouts can’t replace time in the saddle. Plus, under Cathy, the horses progress…and they’re progressing without me. I find this daunting after a long break….

So I’m in the car, barreling across NJ, and I’m psyching myself up and simultaneously cautioning my self to have realistic expectations. And this will be my only ride this week as tomorrow I have to fly to Florida to do some business about the new facility. So, of course, I want a splendid ride to boost my morale and to have the memory of, until next Tuesday, when I get back.

One of the  singular joys of training with Cathy is that you never really ever arrive anywhere. I know… that sounds weird….but as soon as you THINK you are mastering some aspect of the ride, Cathy will immediately change the game….this is so neither the horse or the rider grows complacent in the work. It’s pretty routine for a horse, upon mastering an advancement, to begin dully offering it by rote and therefore turning that new and wonderful accomplishment into an evasion….Think about how many horses, upon learning their changes, simply won’t hold the counter canter anymore, for example.

Cathy has a philosophy that at any time or place in the work, the rider should be able to put the horse’s head, poll, neck and shoulders ANYWHERE  at any given moment of the ride. So if the horse begins curling up, dropping the neck and evading the contact, guess what? You ride that horse forward, up and out….soon as he yields, you supple and encourage a better connection.

I’ve been working on this for years, LOL. Today, for some strange reason, Rafi and I were on the same page for the same lesson…IT all worked the way it was supposed to. And it felt wonderful. The canter, where I still struggle the most with the half halts, just worked! My seat was simply there….I was having a ONE moment on my very own horse…magical!

Of course, I now don’t get to ride for a week!!!!