Like many riders, I have struggled with maintaining a steady connection with steady hands. I often reflect on my rides when I’m back at home or running the errands and I never know when lightning might strike! And the other day it happened. I was walking my daughter Hana in her stroller when I realized that I needed to maintain the same contact with the reins as I do with the stroller handles: holding firmly with my hands, but not too tight so that my elbows and arms stay relaxed and able to adjust to the speed of the stroller like an accordion. It’s an analogy that helps me recreate a feel (unlike some of the car driving metaphors which haven’t worked for me). I was eager to try it during my next ride. Sure enough it helped something click in my mind and body.
I also have had a similar “aha moment” when I remember that dressage is a dance and I remind myself that I am not “riding” my horse, but I am “dancing” with him (only in a really unusual way). I need to lead while working off my partner’s energy – a constant give and take. And now every ride, I imagine that I’m pushing a stroller with my hands while dancing! And it works! This page is dedicated to the “Aha!” moments we have had in our lessons and rides in the hope that we can help each other in our pursuit to become better riders.
What’s your “Aha moment”?