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Ignorance is bliss...

barefoot, one eyed thoroughbred being ridden in a bitless bridle and treeless saddle at Pippsway Classical Natural Horsemanship Wellington Somerset near Devon

Bronson and I attended a Pippsway clinic on Sunday which was super helpful. In the morning we focused on the groundwork issues I’d been having and as always Pip explained why each thing was happening, what it meant and how to resolve it.

In the afternoon I had a lesson on rising trot without stirrups. My over rising in my trot has been an ongoing issue and Pip felt the time had come. To my surprise I had a complete mental and thus physical block. I simply couldn’t do it! Because I was so unsure, to put it mildly, Bronson wouldn’t trot anyway. I do like that if I’m unsure he slows down rather than speeds up!

It really was odd. I wasn’t worried about falling off, it’s not far and would be a soft landing, I trusted Bronson completely, trust Pip entirely and she said I was capable so I couldn’t figure out why I was having this experience. I’ve done a skydive from 15,000 feet, abseiled down the highest waterfall in England with no problems whatsoever and here I was in a right pickle at the notion of trotting without stirrups! Bizarre!

Pip calmly and confidently approached my block from several different angles until she was finally able to get me through it. After that I was fine. It was a great lesson in what rising trot should feel like and highlighted when my pelvis was in the correct position.

A few months ago I came down from the ménage and said to Pip ‘either that was the worst session Bronson and I have ever had or I am simply becoming more aware’. She assured me it was the latter. Today was a similar experience. Whereas last week I felt our sessions were going from strength to strength, today was not so good.

On reflection I think it was simply that I was more aware of when my bottom was sticking out and how often that was the case! When it comes to horsemanship ignorance can be bliss, although certainly not for the horse! On the upside, awareness is the first step towards correction. I can only keep working on building my core strength and practising maintaining correct posture.

I’m not practising rising trot without stirrups without Pip, as it’s important that Bronson isn’t being upset and going backwards, so we’ll do more in my next lesson. In the meantime I’m working on bringing the correct movement to riding with stirrups. Practise makes perfect and we’re a long way from that!

I do remind myself that I’m riding a very bouncy horse, in an uneven ménage, in a torsion saddle. When I’ve mastered this I’ll truly be a good rider! This way of learning means when we are out in the real world, which is not flat, I’ll be balanced regardless and so all our efforts now are setting us up for success in the future.

Also the groundwork issues from last week have been resolved. Bronson came in from the field no problem, stood like a statue whilst I put his saddle on and at the mounting block. So there is improvement! Onward and upward!

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