It’s true, I haven’t written a blog post for several weeks, though I have been immersed in equine endeavors. This weeks photo challenge was a good opportunity to comment about where some of my focus has been- improving the canter with Monarch.
Fleeting: riders know the meaning of that word. We continually strive for harmony in a state of dynamic flow- our bodies in fluid, yet controlled balance moving with our 1,000+ pound horses.
Balance is the key for harmony, and this state is constantly changing. As we train, our fleeting moments of harmony grow longer. This photo was taken at a session with my trainer two weeks ago. As with Solo Schooling, Maree had me play with my body position, which in turn allowed Monarch to play with his balance and position. At this moment, Monarch is stepping well under himself with the outside forehand lighter than the inside hind in the diagonal beat. He is ready for the leading beat as he reaches with the inside fore. I am balanced over his center of gravity with my shoulder, hip, and heel aligned. Communication is clear with a straight line in the snaffle rein between bit, wrist, and elbow.
Since that day, our harmony has continued to grow: spiritual, mental and physical. A new connection was created in our partnership and communication. Though Monarch has always been sensitive and responsive, that session was the beginning of a new way for him to respond to me. He really wants to understand and partner with me. Our training sessions have been a growing source of pleasure. At the end of our ride, we both feel success and joy. Beyond our riding partnership, Monarch seems to respond to me with a different kind of connection. On the ground, in my daily barn chores and having him as my backyard companion, he seeks me with a look and his presence to form a stronger bond. This is a subtle form of communication and impossible to describe. When you’ve experienced this, you understand. It’s a partnership which I gladly give to him.