Despite the billion-degree heat, I’ve continued my riding lessons. I’ve switched over to Western for a couple of reasons. I wasn’t progressing with my English lessons, and in fact I was getting worse. I was also intrigued by the “new” Western riding style, which borrows elements from both disciplines. And after seeing the documentary “Buck,” and that awesome and elegant series of side-passes that Buck performed on his trusty horse, I realized that all of my arguments against Western had vanished.
I still have a long way to go, although I have a great instructor. In Sunday’s lesson, Carol had me side pass Missy along a ground rail, and with a few glitches we managed quite well.What was interesting to me is that I was able to give Missy the cues because I had internalized them a lot more than I thought I had and with a few exceptions she responded to my leg and hands. She’s a good little mare. Prior to taking Western lessons with her, I had ridden her English and she is not very happy with an English bit at all. And while she can jump, she doesn’t like it. She’s a different horse under a Western saddle.
Carol took a few photos because I am having trouble keeping from leaning to the inside. It was really illuminating, to see how much I lean in. I’m not showing you those photos, but take my word for it. Having the photos to refer was really eye-opening. With luck I can retrain myself fairly easily to keep straight and square.