Why do I have this fixation on horses?
That may be what people ask.
They simply DO. NOT. UNDERSTAND.
And I simply have a problem framing it into words.
When I ride it is not the destination. It is only rarely that I meet some goal or other. The process somehow just slowly unravels the twisted bands of stress that comprise every day life. Maybe because to fully ride (as opposed to being a passenger) you have to connect with the horse. You have to be fully aware and in the moment. It is as close to meditation as I get. When I ride Journey I find myself often a passenger as she is uncomplicated for the most part. When riding Phebes I have to be present. Phebes is reactive, sensitive, and is not a ride for the faint of heart. But somehow when I've successfully made it through a session with her, I feel like I have conquered a mountain. She forces me to be aware of everything I do. Where am I on my seat bones? What is the position of my leg, are my hands quiet and soft? It is very involved. Ask for the trot. Why is she pinning her ears? Have I shifted my weight too far forward? Am I balanced, centered? All these things matter to her. From the moment you place the saddle pad on her back, until you finally pull off tack, you must retain focus. It is in fact more challenging than an endurance ride to successfully get an hour on her. Sounds horrible, yes? But somehow the challenge of it, has always mesmerized me. I know she is more horse than I am probably capable of, but with her, the smallest success just brings something unexplainable to my heart. I have not taught her. She has taught me. It is an interesting juxtaposition ... the magic of horses.
Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association