Mijas and I made it to day 2! Result!
Over the last two sessions it felt like we have been tinkering around, tightening screws and adjusting the pieces.
Today, we put our building blocks together, and what we created just felt so beautiful.
My riding has completely changed. I can’t think of one thing about my body that is the same as it was before we first rode with Ben five weeks ago.
We came out again and worked more on our leg yield, circles and canter transitions. I tried to keep my elbows softer, and was somewhat successful. My next big job is to keep my legs positioned supportively, so that she is between my legs, with me touching her the whole time, rather than taking the leg off completely which prevents me from lifting her up underneath me into transitions and gaits generally.
My other major breakthrough today was the idea of every aid I give being like a pulsing or twitching motion not a continuous pressure. Like cooking with a pinch of salt or pepper, rather than just pouring the salt in and then trying to correct it when it’s too salty!
Just a little bit, then a little more, a little of this and a little of that. A little forwards, a little outside rein, a little inside leg, a little flexion, a little half halt, everything little. Then release, then again, then release, then something else, then release. Soft and smooth and open, no brace, just moving with the horse.
It’s actually really hard to do! Especially when you’re training new muscles, because you’re tensing things that have never tensed before, whilst simultaneously trying to relax those things! But I was blown away by the softness, and how quickly the end result came to be so beautiful; the power of being in the right place at the right time!
My brain is so saturated, so many pieces are clicking into place and today I really felt like it was right. Only a few strides here and there but we were going together, softly, nicely, in harmony.
I think, after all this time, I might finally be getting into dressage…oh dear!! Well, it’s an exciting new horizon to explore!
Ben had Mijas and I working on a few fun sideways and lateral exercises around poles at the end of the session. I’ve worked with these kind of exercises before, but never with this level of precision, and it really made me realise how small you can break it down, and how powerful that can be.
Every muscle in my body aches too! Muscles I didn’t even know I had, my feet, my calves, my hips, my thighs, stomach, shoulders, arms, wrists, fingers, everything. Everything aches. I imagine Mijas is feeling somewhat similar. Tomorrow I will be sure to give her a good massage! (And try to find one for myself!)
What an incredible experience this has been with her, I feel so blessed and so lucky, and like I am finally on a path that lights a fire in my soul!
Mijas is so smart and talented too, and it truly fascinated me how motivated she is to get it right with me, and how much she will fill in to make it right. I had that addictive feeling today, where I felt like we were together, working on the same goal.
With Lawrence, it still often feels like I am doing things to him, because he finds the dominance play so hard, even though I know the things we are doing are good for him and his body especially, but it is unusual for me to feel like we are in it together in the same way. He says yes because our connection is strong, and he trusts me that what we are doing will make him feel better in the end, but I’m still not sure if he would choose it for himself. Ambivalent is perhaps a good word for his energy in the arena now.
But Mijas? She has motivation to work with me to the end goal. I haven’t quite figured out what she really likes yet, I know some things she really hates, but I’m not quite sure on what makes her tick….it’s like a breath of fresh air though to have a shared vision together, and to know that she is by my side, even if I’m not quite sure why she is, or what makes her tick yet, is a magical feeling!
What a weekend! I can hand on heart recommend Ben Atkinson’s instruction, and as ever, massive kudos and applause for Organised Equestrian for always creating such a great learning environment!
Although the world is topsy turvy right now, there is another chance to catch Ben at his demonstration on the 9th October (here), or at his next clinic in Yorkshire (here)! If you can, I can assure you it will be well worth attending.
But for now, I need to stretch out my weary muscles and rest my brain, so
Peace out and pony love,
Find my write up for the first half of this clinic here
And the start of this journey here
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