Dec 18 / A True Gift

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A small part of what I learned yesterday at my lesson with Jim Wofford. It was one of those days that you know will change your riding and your relationship with your horse forever.

Part of receiving and appreciating a gift is actually recognizing that is has been given to you. Sure, on holidays it’s easy to know you’re being handed a gift, but what about the intangible, unexpected gift? Many times these are the overlooked blessings.
Today I got such a gift. Birdie was transformed right under me into a horse that was patiently waiting for my cues. I took the hour to realize what I was on, but now I have a completely new direction in which to go.

Birdie received the gift of comfort and confidence today and he realized it immediately and responded in kind. I, being a human took longer to understand and as always my Bird was patiently waiting for me to arrive.

I learned today that I must use my head to ride every stride, not in a labored heavy way, but in a light, intuitive way. I can’t check out, because he is waiting for me now. The horse that I could not even think of touching with my leg, now requires that leg. No more hanging on to him to get to the jump. Now I must soften and wait out the ascent. I did not know what to do on the approach. I found myself out of kilter without a horse to hold to the jump . Even though it was wrong, it was the only way to get there. I’ve rarely experienced this before today.
I have my work cut out for me, but I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.