Different Approaches

Karin was back for Lesson #11.  I remember reading or hearing that it’s not good to have more than one riding instructor at a time.  Something about styles, techniques and confusion. Or something.

I don’t care. I just try to stay on the horse long enough to see if anything makes sense. I listen as well as I am able to both Karin and Liz – and also to anyone else who has ever been on a horse and seems to know about it. Not everything I hear makes me a better rider, of course.  But all of it tells me something about equestrians and their Art. Our Art.

Besides, all this variety is fun. For example, for Lesson #11, I got to ride Vinnie, Karin’s Thoroughbred. This was my first time on Vinnie and I really liked him. I barely had to cue the guy. He just kind of knew where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do as if he was already inside my brain. Somebody should be. And at 16 hands, he is certainly tall enough for me.

I must say that Vinnie is now my favorite horse at the barn.

For my lesson, Karin had me work on posting at the trot. I was in favor of this. I absolutely want to learn how to post at the trot, not to mention all the other things I’ll learn in the process of learning it.

Karin came at it from every angle she could think of. She described it, demonstrated it, described it again and had me try it over and over and over again. Like Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid:

“Again!…relax for moment….  Again!… take break for a second… Again!… this time try to breathe…”

It got to where I was saying “again” before she did.

We tried it at the walk.  We tried to concentrate on the “up” part. Then on the “down” part. She said I could use my hands to push up.  She counted the cadence.

It’s not updownupdownupdown.  It’s more like up—down—up—down—up—down.

At one point Karin just ran out of words.

And then, out of nowhere, something happened:  the whole thing got smooth. Not just for a fleeting moment, but for an entire half circle.

I’ll be damned. We were posting.

I have no clue what I did to make that happen and Vinnie couldn’t tell me. He had to be happy about it, because no doubt he was sick of getting slammed on the back by this clueless rookie. I think he knew what I was attempting and had been trying to help me the entire time.

I really like that horse.

I also learned a little more about tack and equine teeth. I’ll tell you about that next time.

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8 thoughts on “Different Approaches

  1. Good job! This is a big step forward. Pretty soon you’ll be posting like a champ, and the thought that you ever didn’t post will be weird.

    I find that having one instructor is nice, especially if the different instructors don’t know exactly where you are. But if you like both of your instructors teaching styles and the variety, then more power to you!

    • Thank you Danielle. I like what you said about getting to the point where the thought of me not posting will be weird. I think there are two things I need to do: ride more, get those abs in better shape. This is a sport,

  2. Congrats, Bob! Just when you think it’s hopeless, posting makes sense. Your body just starts doing it & the whole thing seems so obvious, you wonder why you struggled in the first place.
    Vinnie sounds awesome. I wonder what horses think about when they’re patiently waiting for us to catch on. :)

    • I thought I might hear from your corner, Joselyn. In fact, I was thinking about disguising Vinnie’s identity in the blog – maybe call him “Frank” or something. But don’t worry, you are his best buddy and I won’t give him pretzels. I just now know why you like him so much.

  3. My instructor had a different approach … we ride Western here – don’t know if that makes a difference … but we spent a couple months (yup – I’m a slow learner) … learning to SIT THE TROT … slow trot, faster, faster, etc. I asked about posting – as my daughter rides English and always posts … instructor said we would ‘know’ when it was time for me to learn to post. So … one day, we were working in round pen … trying to learn some balance (no hands) at faster trot … and … magically … I was posting. According to my instructor, the particular work we were doing, would have horse ‘pushing me into post’ without any effort on my part. Scary to have horse pushing me around up there! And then the work began … now that my body ‘experienced the movement’ … it was time to learn to do it right! Lord help me … I think my thighs burned for weeks!! But we are getting rather ‘acceptable’ at it now… Keep up the great work … and whatever you do … DON’T STOP WRITING!!!!!

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