This photo was taken midway through the final course. We had walked down to the ferry. If you look near my legs you will see a cat had come to greet me – I was thinking how easy it was to be ‘connected’ to a cat. Why is a horse so hard? I look at this photo and feel sad – I was smiling but mentally I felt shattered. My confidence was almost at zero.
The path hadn’t been found to the magical way of being with horses. The fairytale hadn’t come true – riding with ease with both horse and human happy – in fact, hardly any part of the fairytale had eventuated!
I had now given up on the hope I would be selected to stand in front of a horse. Others had – mainly the one year students – but in the two and a half months I was there, I had not been near a horse!!
It was all very well to tell us we had so many issues, we had to remove layers, masks, shells, black parts. In Kert’s eyes we were all so damaged there was probably no hope for us!
We did more ‘simulations’ – practising keeping a horse in the corner – becoming more aware of the details – where tension was in our bodies – where our minds were – whether our movements were too sharp – or too weak. You start to understand the finer details – things we miss in everyday life – but things that are so important – and not just for horse work.
While we kept up our body awareness daily – we also did more exercises in the arena – sometimes ‘fine tuning’ exercises we had learnt.
One of these was working with the stick – throwing it from the left to the right – just being with yourself – no thoughts – just blank. This is how we meet the horse. We practise being ‘regal’ with this exercise – taking note of how we are catching the stick – what muscles we are using – making sure the movements are round.
“It is hard to learn the simplicity” says Kert. “But it is easy!”
Another exercise was walking with the stick – we are focused on how we hold the stick, how we are walking – is our body upright? As I walk past, Kert says “You are hiding something ‘ hiding your elegance, poise – find the princess in you!” I did practise walking “like a princess”, to my own horses! However, I tripped several times as I was so busy keeping my head up!
All these exercises were great, but I was getting fed up. During the first week we had some very short days, then spent a day observing the farrier trim and shoe horses. I didn’t mind this because at least I was in amongst the horses!
I really had felt so separated from horses – I was missing my own – just touching them – tending to them – feeling their muzzles – and their breath……
I had naively thought that by this stage I would be in an arena with a horse – with Kert guiding me – forget the riding! – I thought at least I would be doing some ground work!
If I had mentioned this, Kert would have had me up in front of the class! I was trying to stay quiet – but it was hard. Kert had said we would be going through saddling and riding in this Level 3 course – I would be happy to see anyone do it!!
Of course……. I did manage to get myself into trouble – again!!!
COMING UP – I MUST NOT ‘WANT’!
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