I feel a dressage tirade coming on.
Instead of that, let me recommend that those interested in learning more about the philosophy of creating lightness in a horse through kind training and natural movement should pick up a copy of Twisted Truths of Modern Dressage, a Search for a Classical Alternative by Karl Phillipe.
It was a good lesson, and a hard one. I had to try to figure out how to use my hands in a way I never have, and to NOT use my legs in the way I always have. Hudson had to try to figure it all out under me, and I feel sorry for her. She is a cooperative horse, but I wasn’t being a very good teacher.
And I learned my mighty race horse has not been taught to do a canter depart in an arena. Since I never ride her in an arena, and I’m the only person who rides her, and I never taught it to her, this can hardly be surprising. We can go from halt to a full gallop on a trail, but ask for a normal canter depart in an arena and it’s off to the trot races.
|Is there lightness in there, somewhere?|
So I have two jobs ahead of me. One is to try to apply the lessons Ashley imparted, and the other is to get a nice canter depart from my big heavy girl.
As usual, Hudson was exceptionally well behaved, allowing me to tack her untied in the grass of a strange farm in 20-mile-an-hour winds with two young thoroughbreds running excitedly around in the pasture next to which we were standing.
Since it was just Hudson and I on this trip, I was grateful to have a horse as confident and cooperative as Hudson. I consider myself lucky for this, every time we go out together (and most of the time in between.)