This morning, riding out at Gilmerton in freezing temperatures, gloveless and probably wearing all the wrong attire, I couldn’t keep the grin off my face. Such happiness felt almost indecent, actually, but even that sober reflection could not force my mouth into a straighter line. While my helpers were struggling to keep warm and jumping around to unfreeze their extremities, I smiled inanely, filled with gratitude. I was instructed and counselled so carefully, and after a sore start, my legs settled down. Then, magically, with a straighter back and lengthening legs, sitting up from the hips instead of leading with my head, the pain left and I found my seat. I finally discovered what it means to sit on a horse properly, and move easily, go with the flow.
Yes, it felt odd to be sitting straight; but I am left wondering how often I have used my back mistakenly, forcing it to take responsibilities that should really, in the natural way of things, devolve more comfortably to the hips. Afterwards, returning to the car with that feeling fresh in my mind, I tried walking from the hips (instead of leaning forward, my head leading the way) and found that an unaccustomed straightness and unusual confidence was the outcome. Immediately, I wanted to go back and say, ‘Hey! Karen! You’ve taught me a new way to walk!! YAY!’
Quite an achievement for an unassuming class on a Tuesday morning. Must tell the ladies next week, how much I appreciate them. Would a box of chocolates and a large bunch of flowers be a bit over the top? Probably, but then – just imagine! Now, if I remember to walk from the hip, my view casts itself naturally up and outwards, instead of tilting uneasily towards the ground. Confidence lower in the body – instead of massive overcompensation in the back, neck and shoulders – translates into calmness, and awareness of what is happening on the horizon. It’s rather as if I have finally been given a pair of spectacles for distance, instead of being forced to wear reading glasses outside.
January 13, 2015 @ 2:52 pm
Now you made me cry!! A bottle of something fizzy wouldn’t be out of place. How wonderful.
January 13, 2015 @ 4:12 pm
Yes, Diane, I thought so too. Except that if I express too much gratitude, perhaps they will think I have lost the plot completely. Thank you so much. xxxx 😀
January 13, 2015 @ 4:38 pm
“Lost the plot completely” You say that like it’s a bad thing !!:-)
January 13, 2015 @ 4:55 pm
Hmmm. I express gratitude often, but I don’t want to embarrass anyone by starting to cry, or anything. The volunteers are so kind that they frequently leave me speechless….and it would be so easy to start weeping. I’m used to people minding, but I’m sure they would just smile. xxxx 🙂
January 13, 2015 @ 5:01 pm
Actually I was being rather flippant and meaning that sometimes losing the plot seems like just the thing to do!!!
January 13, 2015 @ 5:03 pm
Oh yes, totally. Why bother with what we think we might be going to do. Let’s just do what we like, for a change. 🙂 ♥
January 13, 2015 @ 3:20 pm
Sounds like a wonderful experience, Fran!
January 13, 2015 @ 4:13 pm
Yes, I could hardly believe it was me, getting complimented on my riding seat. But that felt so good, and much easier than usual. Now I know what the feeling is like, hopefully I can find it again. xxx 🙂
January 13, 2015 @ 3:28 pm
I vote for the chocolates! They might offer you one…. What a great day! It sounds so simple and makes so much sense. Who would have known?
January 13, 2015 @ 4:14 pm
YAY! I suppose it might be the difference between knowing the theory and understanding the practice. This yawning gulf is beginning to close, I hope. Bless you! xxx 😀
January 14, 2015 @ 11:57 am
How amazing for you, my lovely friend. I know that feeling well – itching to get back to riding myself, really missing it!
January 14, 2015 @ 12:18 pm
Yes, we learn things in small degrees. But each view lovely. Box of chocs it is, then. XXX 😀
January 14, 2015 @ 11:59 am
Ps i gave the volunteers chocolates at Christmas to show my gratitude