For Lesson #15 Karin had me ride Rami, a 14-3 hand Arabian gelding, in the 16-18 year-old range.
I’ve never been on an Arabian before. My daughter Hiliary had one for several years, so I kind of knew what they were about. Good movers, some say. “Air-Heads” others say. In any case, I’ve always thought that Arabians with their delicate facial features and elegant build are among the prettier breeds.
Rami seemed a bit small for me, but Karin said not to worry.
“He’s very strong, Bob. He won’t have a problem with you.”
Well, I’m old enough to know you should never mistake prettiness for weakness. And Rami turned out to be plenty of horse for me.
There was certainly nothing air-headed about him in the groundwork portion of the program. No tugging or pulling, he just mirrored my movements. It was hard not to like Rami right away.
The riding portion did not go so smoothly. Karin wanted to see what I could do off the lunge-line. And I showed her. Neither Karin, nor myself, nor Rami were particularly impressed. I was simply unable to match the horse’s rhythm. And you all know what that looks like. It’s not pretty.
I thought about blaming it on Rami’s breed type. You know, they’re just so fritzy, etc., etc. Right? I have no doubt that there are those in the horse world who would be totally sympathetic to my claim.
“Get yourself on a real horse,” is something they might say.
Well, I’m no Arabian hater. I like all the breeds. And the truth is, the problem I was having had nothing to do with Rami. It turns out, that in order to match Rami’s rhythm, I have to have some of my own.
While on the lunge-line, it’s not so bad. Off of it, there is a lot more for me think about and my brain thinks it needs take over and deal directly with all these stupid little details. Too much thinking inhibits rhythm.
Karin suggested I take dancing lessons.
Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.