This morning I came into my lesson somewhat hesitant. I was thinking that perhaps this would be my last lesson. After all, there are some new things starting up in my life and would I have time and money to continue doing this? Thus far I’ve already learned so much about the sport and myself, it wouldn’t be a bad place to stop.
I rode Marigold again. This time we were in the larger area instead of the small corral. I was asked to walk her all the way there by myself. In the beginning time of my riding her, she did was is called a “shy” and it totally freaked me out for a moment. It’s basically similar to when we cringe out of fear at something that seems to pop out next to us. I thought I was going to be thrown off or something! It was fine though, it was just a dog that was running by. My teacher explained that if Marigold were younger, she would have probably reacted more strongly and then tried to go play with it too. Good times.
I was having difficulty keeping my body in the right positioning as she moved into a trot. My teacher kept giving guidelines: “strengthen your core,” “heels down, toes up,” “relax your back,” “look where you’re going,” and so forth. It was hard to keep track of everything that she was saying. At one point I somewhat gave up and just tried to feel what I needed to do. Then she mentioned that I was slouching. Oh boy.
Then something shifted. As I became more comfortable with the trotting, I went back to what we call “airplane mode” – where I let go of the reins, let go of holding onto the saddle, and just put my arms out to the sides like an airplane. Once I did this, everything just started shifting into place. I was bouncing up and down less on the saddle, naturally balancing and adjusting more, and just overall more at ease. My teacher then started mentioning that I should start thinking about getting a pair of boots and my own helmet. That soon I would also learn to start riding bare back. Wow, she thinks I can do that already? That’s pretty cool.
Another reminder that it’s precisely when you let go that things flow more easily. Instead of trying to figure it out or control it. Part of my fear of continuing this is also because I still don’t exactly know where it’s leading me – and I’m learning to be ok with that. I’d been so used to years of trying things that continued to dead-end, and this year that seems to be changing with the new job, and now this. I feel invited to continue to give this a chance, and really to give myself a chance to see. I am finding I only have enough clarity to continue, not what continuing will lead me to – and that is enough for now.