Thursday, August 25

When you think you need to use the reins more...

Well today was just totally gorgeous! Cool, sunny, breezy and just perfect! So, I took the day to play with Scout and Eddie and ride them both too. And Eddie proceeded to teach me a lesson.

Scout and I went for two liberty walks around the track. We cantered a lot, raced each other (of course he won) and I let him graze in the corners. Then we went into the outdoor and just rode around. Trotted here and there, walked over cavaletties and gave him some cookies. :-) A perfect, relaxing day with my super adorable pony! <3

Eddie and I played in the pasture and cantered (on the ground) quite a bit. He was pretty spunky, so I let him run around before we went into the outdoor. Also, we cantered because he's getting a little chubby. ;-) I don't like to admit that, but he is. So I put him in the outdoor for a little bit to graze it down and I think he thought, "I have to be in the Jenny Craig paddock?!" Yes, Eddie... poor Eddie...
We went in the outdoor and rode for a while and I learned a lesson. Eddie was pretty... opinionated. Which is not a bad thing. I'd rather have an opinionated horse than a dull horse. So the thought crossed my mind as he was pulling on the reins, "He needs to respect my reins!" The dominator in me came out for about two seconds as we walked a lap. Then the image of Buck riding his horse in his documentary appeared in my mind. Everything was at peace and he was offering a really good deal to his horse. The phrase popped into my mind out of nowhere:

Just when you think you need to use the reins more,
    You actually need to use them less.
I don't know where it came from. Maybe it was the inner-horsewoman coming out in me. Let me just say that I'm never going to forget it now.
I laid the reins over Eddie's withers and crossed my arms. I only used the reins when I felt like my safety was in jeopardy. Like when he spooked at a shadow from a vulture overhead or pushed open a gate that led out of the outdoor.
Things went much better.
He was relaxed, let out more sighs and was more responsive to my subtle leg cues than he's ever been. If you're a rider, then you know that legs cues can only be so 'loud' to a horse. They have to be subtle or else your leg would be floppin' up and down like a fish outta water.
Like Buck says:

“When you’re younger, you ride with 90% physical and 10% mental. But if you could learn how to use 90% mental and 10% physical you’d be better off.”

I think we all would be better off.

~Lea & Eddie~

Psalm 119:165
Great peace have those who love Your law,
         And nothing causes them to stumble.


Ellyn said...

This was really helpful - one of the things that I already know, but need help remembering :D Thanks!

Lea said...

You're very welcome, Ellyn! Aren't horses such great teachers?!

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