Spent the day painting, sweeping and cleaning. Not all that exciting. But it did leave a lot of time to think. Which I did a lot of. And work in my spanish with Walter. Both good thing.
And today I realized the other day how much I say just keep working/keep trying. Something Martin said to me awhile ago hit me while I was thinking about the riding from the show yesterday and about life/horses in general. A six stride was walked out in the ring with poles inplace of jumps. I was on some big strided horse who'd had no problem making the 6. So Martin told me to get the add (in this case, a seven). After a couple of 6 and change, Martin asked me if Id gotten the seven yet. I half grumbled that no I hadnt gotten a clean seven strides but I was trying. He looked at me and replied something to the effect of "when are you going to quit trying and just do it?" How easy he made it sound tweaked me a bit and I got pissed at myself for being unable to do something that really shouldnt be so hard. Next time, I came around and made the seven happen. Dont know why it took me so long to realize the wisdom behind that statement. I didnt need to keep trying. I needed to just do it. Getting better is about pushing the limits and trying newer/harder things. At one point in my life correct diagionals were hard for me. Now Im so tuned into their relation to the horses balance that I dont even have to think about it. Alice even laughingly pointed out that whenever I change the horse's bend while working, I change my diagional. I hardly even noticed myself doing it (something to keep in mind though. Im sure me doing that changes their balance and likely not in a good way). Same with just coming up on the correct diagional. I have to actually work at coming up on the incorret one. So at one point I had to work on that. The work were doing now is subtler but essentially the same. At some point it will become second nature and downright easy. But in the mean time, it takes practice. And practice isnt trying, its doing. Not trying to make the seven stride but deciding to do it and making sure it happens. Practicing the action makes you better. Not trying to do the act. If I want carry a great canter that will allow for any distance, I just need get it. Not try to find it. Same goes for always being in the middle of the horse. No reason not to be there so why am I so often vaguely somewhere else? Maybe at the end of the day the practicing/trying/doing thoughts really basically mean the same thing but to me the subtle difference is just enough. Potential for a big method change here. (you can tell all this time out of the saddle leaves way too much room for throught!).
Photo of Walter with Luli after he spent a good hour cleaning her up for a client. He was quite proud and wanted a picture. Luli is his favorite mare in the barn (mine too!)