A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words and Not All of Them Are Nice

Hiliary came with me for Lesson #18 to take photos. It’s hard to take a picture of yourself on a horse while you’re on it and it’s good equestrian practice to have a third party attend to that detail for you.  All the top equestrians have a support staff and for Lesson #18 mine consisted of a life-sized action figure wrapped in a winter blanket.

Bless her heart, she took close to 300 photos. And some video.

I picked Maree over Avenir for the lesson. I like both of them, but Avenir is harder to get moving and I make an effort to limit the number of hard things I do during any given day.

As it turns out, the easier the road you take, the more mileage you’re expected to cover.  Maree and I are at a point in our relationship where I should be able to demonstrate some good riding technique.

Should be.

Karin says I’m lucky because I’m like a blank page and I still have the opportunity to establish good riding habits from the beginning. It’s easier to do that than breaking bad ones later, she says.

So: doing it the hard way now is easier than doing it a harder way later.

The one thing I keep hearing over and over again is the thing about “proper body (mine) alignment”.  There is an imaginary line – much like the equator, only up & down – that runs vertically from the rider’s heel to the hip to the ear. This line must run perpendicular to the Earth’s surface. Everyone says it: Karin, Liz, Brenda, Jamie, Hiliary, the Handless Judge, commenters on this blog, The Experts in Books, friendly people passing by.

So either there is a massive, ridiculously complex conspiracy going on (and thus all bets are off on any take I have on reality) or I have some serious work to do.

This was brought home to me in a big way when Hiliary announced that in addition to the 270-some photos, she also caught me on some video using her cell phone. Those damn things.  And when did she have time for this?

She had seven or eight little 60-second snippets.  All I can say is: ugly, ugly, ugly.


But now – as hard as it was to watch these – I can see what everyone is talking about.  These images are now burned into what’s left of my brain.  And I will bring them to my next lesson.