As a result of sorting through photos from the clinic on the previous evening, and noticing my many posture infractions... leaning forward, weight off to the left, twisting my upper body, elbows flapping like chicken wings... I spent this ride focusing on keeping my body centered and even in the saddle. Oh, easier said than done.
I've been reading Franz Mairinger's Horses Are Made To Be Horses, and these thoughts resonated with me:
"The better the body control is, the more consistent the aids will be. Then the horse will learn quickly and the rider and horse will understand each other. The control must be such that the rider knows what every part of his body is doing and every movement must be independent of every part of the body. We do not normally think about what we do with our body, but to be a good rider we must do so. The rider does not have trouble with the horse; the horse has trouble with the rider."
A lofty goal... will I ever get there?
My farrier made it to the island for our appointment today after all. He complimented Val's fitness and great attitude during his trim. (last visit we had that cowboy come to Jesus meeting) Smile... I love my horse. We have made great progress in the last few months. It's gratifying when others notice too.
What is less than gratifying are some aspects of being the barn owner. At the last minute the farrier changed our appointments, making them about four hours earlier. The appointments were originally set for after school, so that Lorraine, Cowboy's owner, could hold her horse for Will. As we were expecting heavy rain later and in consideration of Will's schedule, I caught and held my boarders' horse for the trim, rather than making Will wait while I hopefully got in touch with her mother, who isn't the most experienced horse handler. She (the mother) gave me some flack when I called to tell her the situation. I suggested she might want to thank me, and that first consideration goes to the farrier who drives seven hours round trip to see us, and who has no replacement. Rock and a hard place...