Riding the range …

Well it may not be romance we’re talking about here – at least romance between two consenting adult human beings – but it’s bloody fabulous to be back in the saddle, riding after the two week break for school holidays.

Last week was the first week on the new two-lesson-per-week regime and can I just say one thing?  OUCH everything huuuuuuurts.  Okay so it’s not as bad as I predicted, nor even as bad my “usual” level of aches and pains, but OOF. 

Part of it is not just the extra ride per week – and therefore less recovery time between rides – but that I’m really working myself hard.  My main “issue” is my sway back / pelvic misalignment, so I’m constantly trying to correct that by tightening my pelvic core [abs, PC muscles, lower back muscles], sucking in my gut, and tilting my pelvis forward.  Argh!  Whilst concentrating on my lower leg position, feet [my right foot turns in nicely but not my left foot oh no … ] and hands.  My hand position is fine but I don’t grip firmly enough with my thumb on top.  It’s so much to think about all at the same time!

So I’m really working hard every minute of those lessons, and trying to “practice” on non-riding days.  On which, unfortunately, I have a tendency to be really pain-y due to this winter’s weird weather patterns. 

Last week after ride no. two, I felt somewhat discouraged because I was trying so damn hard but felt I was still not getting very far.  Well at least the coach was still correcting me.  And me, being all emotionally wobbly and insecure, got quite down about it, how I wasn’t progressing blah blah blah.  Which of course I know is fucking stupid because HELLO I’m re-learning all this stuff at the age of [nearly] 39 and I do have my little physical foibles to contend with, so why can’t I just go with the flow?

. . . . . . . . . .

I headed out yesterday for my lesson but the weather was being particularly atrocious, sunny and clear then half an hour later dark and stormy and bucketing down.  When I left home it was clear [ditto out at the centre] and when I got there … fairly pishing down.  Mud everywhere and the covered arena was … well … not?  In the hopes it would fine up I groomed and tacked up L. [“my” pony] who in spite of whuffling and nuzzling me when I greeted him [awwwww] was being antsy because of all this rain stuff coming down aaaaah never seen it before ooooh it’s wet and cold eeeeeeeeh. 

So there was a bit of discussion amongst riders and coaches and volunteers and the lesson was called off.  Phooey.  At least I got some horsey time which is better than none – I love the time spent grooming and sweet-talking, getting-to-know-you, building a connection with one of these beautiful big creatures.   

I did take the opportunity to have a chat with Sue, my coach, to try and alleviate some of my idiotic insecurities.  As an aside, I really bloody buggery hate the fact that I’m so insecure so much of the time and seek reassurance.  Okay so  it’s not in all parts of life [at least, I’m not still asking Tuxedo every five minutes if he loves me of if I’m a good cook or a good *cough* okay I’ll stop there …] but I should be beyond it by now, it should come from within; or at least not assume such significance.  Something else to work on … 

Anyway.  Chat with coach.  Very productive.  YES I’m doing very well, progressing nicely – and if coach focuses on the sway back / pelvic tilt thing so much it’s because she has the same issue so is hyper-aware of it!  That was funny, and nice.   Also that L. is great with me, he’s quite different with me, much calmer, more relaxed and less likely to be silly than with other riders – and I’m more relaxed with him.  We’re a nice team.  Building connections again, and all that.   I’m so pleased about that, that it’s not just in my imagination that he and I have “a thing”.

THEN I asked if, in a year or so, I could look at getting into some of the local / State para-equestrian dressage competitions, which would be such an amazing experience, and coach said why not now since I’m ready?  Say what?  So she’s going to look out some tests for me, which I can work on in lesson time with L., and when a competition is called [which often occurs at short notice] we can try to organise to go.  Whee!  And wahey! 

So … I’m doing well, I’m progressing, getting better all the time, and I can work on tests for competitions.  Is that not cool? 

. . . . . . . . . .

And and and – the Absolutely Divine Jewel and Abu over at 20 Metre Circle Of Life have given me my very first award – the Arte Y Pico Award!  Wahey!  [will try to get image up] Thank you, thank you … will try not to dissolve into Gwyneth-Paltrow-receiving-Oscar-in-vile-pink-Gucci-gown-tears … thank you.  I’m so glad you enjoy visiting – I love having you and everyone else visit and comment!

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  • GreyHorseMatters  On Wednesday 6 August 2008 at 12:31 am

    It sounds as if you are doing great and have a connection with L. How exciting it would be to start practicing tests for competition, I’m sure given more ride time and lessons you will do really well.

  • otterkat  On Wednesday 6 August 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Thanks GHM, I appreciate the input / encouragement! He’s a sweet little pony really. My coach is now working both of us very hard, not just teaching me but also working on some of his issues – mainly his narkiness and problems with transitions. It’s so rewarding [and very cool!] being involved that way, that I’m not just a passenger.

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