Everything comes together for that perfect ride. Sometimes when we ride, all the practice and concentration and reading and theorizing melds perfectly into a few strides of perfection when you and your horse are totally in sync. That happened in my ride yesterday and for about 30 seconds, it was pure bliss.
I rode Baron out on the residential street by my barn. I do this every now and then when the pasture is muddy and I need somewhere to ride. Baron does pretty well on this road. Cars don’t phase him at all, but I noticed that the further we got from the barn, the more agitated he became. At one point we stepped on a particular piece of grass that must have been different than all the other pieces of grass heretofore encountered. I felt him tense up under me and start prancing around looking for somewhere “safe” to put his feet. Then he became still and it was like sitting on the string of a bow and arrow pulled tight and ready to explode. I could tell he wanted to bolt but I took a deep breath and talked to him and I felt him relax underneath me. It’s amazing to sit on 1200 lbs of frightened energy and know that he trusts me enough to ignore the instinct to bolt.. I was so proud of him for keeping it under control.
We headed back to the barn and I rode for about 10 minutes in the little pasture. The bliss I mentioned earlier came during one of our trot circles. He picked up an easy pace, not rushed like he loves to do, and I was 100% in the moment. I was more aware of my body than usual. I could feel myself sinking my weight down into my heels and I had perfect contact; I could feel his mouth but I wasn’t pulling or balancing with my hands. It was a lightbulb moment where I thought, “THIS is what it’s supposed to feel like!”
Now if I can just ride like that at the show…