It is difficult to listen and FEEL at the same time.Very often, one trys so hard while riding to get a FEEL that they can't see or hear anything. It is easy to bump into a jump standard in the ring. It is easy to miss a jump . Mud puddles can come out of nowhere and cause your horse to spook and catch one WAY off guard. I call this "riding blind."
It is easy to "go blind" with fear. When one's horse grabs the bit and starts to speed up, pull, or "get bigger". It is easy to forget what to do to REGAIN control and then confidence. That is all we are trying to do. It is the same out in the cross country field, hunt field, show jumping ring, even the dressage ring.
TIMING is another hard thing to learn right up there with FEELING!!!!! How much is enough and when do you do it and HOW DO YOU DO IT?
A great way to learn all this is by practicing, making mistakes, having problems and getting through to the other side. The aha moments. Sometimes God steps in. He shows up a lot in the open spaces. He says........You had BETTER find your balance. You had BETTER sit back. You had BETTER learn how to balance and control your horses step.... OR ELSE I WILL RAISE YOUR PULSE TILL YOU GET IT.
Of course this is all relative and should be thoroughly discussed with the rider beforehand. A great lady said to me today....."Oh,,, this is what I am supposed to be doing everyday!"I need to ride better!!!!Oh hallelujah . She got it! "YES ,,,EVERYDAY ,EVERY TIME YOU RIDE!!!!!" Thanks be to God. A real light bulb moment. Great fun and that's what teaching is about.
My lady went from fairy riding with a minimum of control and confidence, to clearly owning her ride and getting her young horse downhill into the water jump. She knew what to do when her horse said no. Even though I had loaded her guns with at least an hours worth of discussion about position and the application of the aids, it was a higher power that went down that hill into the water with her......She was safe.....And she was BEAMING at the end of her ride.
It is so much fun to see people transform from helpless housewives that ride blind into functioning riders with a real purpose.Yippee, another score at Paradise today.Thank God!