For Lesson #109, I got to ride Habakuk for the second week in a row. Gerry had his lesson the day before thus opening up a spot for me on Habakuk’s back.
I got to ride with Leo, Karin’s son-in-law. Leo is both a new father and a new rider. Sometimes everything happens all at once.
Leo took Maree. He was concerned about being too big for her, but I think they matched up pretty well.
As I trotted Habakuk around the arena, I could hear Karin give Leo instructions regarding his seat: “Keep all Four Points of your butt on the horse,” she insisted.
A flood of mother-in-law jokes came crashing into my brain, but I held my tongue. Also, I remembered that the last time this topic had been discussed, there was some controversy over whether there are actually Five Points – not Four – to a person’s buttocks. But I didn’t bring that up either, because we were doing so well and I didn’t want anyone to lose to their focus to that debate.
I got to canter a bit. Karin used her Magic Wand as a communication aid.
On the first two go-arounds, I held on to the saddle horn because it seemed like the right thing to do. But after that, Karin told me let go and employ the Supple Joints thing. I did and it was more fun than holding on.
There is something about being on Habakuk that gives everything around you a kind of miniature feel.
Even the arena got smaller. We got from one end to the other in what seemed like two, maybe three bounds. Although, I not sure if “bound” is an appropriate canter term.
“He has a big canter, Karin,” I reported.
“No, he has a very smooth canter,” she responded.
They’re not necessarily conflicting ideas, of course. But I didn’t argue because I had another, more pressing issue I needed to discuss.
“His canter kind of breaks up into a trot at the end of the arena, Karin.”
“That’s because you’re not following through, Bob.”
Karin always puts it back on the rider. But she had a point. I was so busy keeping my whole body on him, I wasn’t paying enough attention to keeping my legs on him. It’s like coasting down a hill on a bike. It’s nice, but at some point you have to be prepared to resume peddling if you want to keep your momentum going.
At the end of the lesson, something happened that almost never happens. Someone asked me for help with his tack. It was Leo.
I put Habakuk on the crossties and then proceeded to tell Leo everything I knew about horse tack. Ten seconds later, he was all set.
I’m pretty sure Leo is going to be riding quite a bit in the coming weeks. Within a month or two, I’ll be asking him for help. And the universe will be back in its proper order.