OK, so I know I said the guest blogging thing was going to be yearly. But boyo was it fun and informational. Talk about making new connections. I have decided to publish the posts from everyone who entered the First Annual Guest Blogger Contest and Sweepstakes if they are willing. Drop me a line if you are still willing to share your wit and know-how with all three folks who read enlightened horsemanship (one is my mom, one is me, and I don’t know who that person in Lithuania is, but labas ir ačiū!
This enthusiastic and sweet little piece was written by my friend Melanie Candra, aka Little Miss Muffintop. I’ve known her since 2002, and and am not proud to confess that she gave me a disease called the “Dark Side Plague” by forcing me to lick an anatomically-suggestive swizzle stick) or was it that squashy little plastic pig?) at an Oscar after-party in L.A. Aside from this incident, we have had a great deal of fun together over the years, in spite of the fact that she lives in New York and I live in Virginia. One of Melanie’s passions is horses, and she’s just now arrived to that place where she can indulge herself in “the life.” Join me in wishing her luck in becoming not only a rider but a true horsewoman.
Clickety-click on over to her blog for her somewhat, erm, shall we say, unusual take on sports, entertainment, her riding lessons, and the world in general.
Center And Grow, baby. Center. And. Grow.
I jumped today. For the first time ever, I jumped. And I didn’t fall off and more importantly I didn’t feel like I was going to fall off. I’m sure it wasn’t the prettiest of jumps and it was a very tiny rail but I didn’t hesitate and I didn’t hold my breath and I actually liked it and I totally didn’t worry about falling off.
Today was my first hour-long lesson and the damn thing still felt like it was over in the blink of an eye. Last week’s lesson I had an awful time getting Caz to canter and Nina The Instructor, after only having taught me exactly 4 times, was dead on when she told me that I was over-thinking it. It’s like she knew that I had spent every day the week before obsessing about transitioning to the canter from the walk and it’s like she knew I had scoured the internet for The Secret and it’s like she knew I had practiced the “7 Steps To Getting Your Horse To Canter” in my mind over and over and over.
I told her as much this morning as she untacked her most gorgeous Hanoverian horse Envy and she very kindly smiled. “Today,” I told her, “I’m just going to breathe.” And ok, aside from one very teeny tiny distraction that I could see my toes with my “soft eyes” and I tried not to focus on it but I kinda did cause you’re not supposed to be able to see your toes, the ride today was wonderful. The only thing I kept in my head today was breathe and center and grow and both she and Ross could absolutely see the difference.
Today I forgot all about The 7 Steps To Getting Your Horse To Canter and just cantered. The best part was I could feel those stupid little wrinkles between my eyebrows go away and I was smiling again. And with my smile came my confidence and with my confidence came correct body positioning. So when she asked if I wanted to jump, I said, “Yes, please.” And when I jumped, I asked her if I could do it again. And again. Even as I am sitting here typing this, I’m not obsessing over The Eleventybillion Steps To Getting Your Horse To Jump, I’m just remembering how it felt to jump.
I certainly don’t presume to think I unlocked the Secrets To Great Riding, but I am joyful in the presumption that I think I unlocked the Secret To Great Riding For Me.
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