Friday, July 8, 2016

Latent Potential

Today I make the argument that Kat is a better Kate-trainer than Kate is a Kat-trainer. That sentence was hilarious to write and probably difficult to follow. Here's why I think that.
Things that I have trained Kat to do: 
  • Get in a trailer
  • Go through water
  • Canter instead of buck
  • Go on the bit, most of the time****
  • Jump things 
  • Probably some other things but honestly who knows
 Things that Kat has trained me to do:
  • Accept all her ridiculous shenanigans as 'just the way things are'
  • Accept some stranger's assessment that she's not very talented at dressage and so to focus on other things
  • Laugh at EVERY spook
  • Have a much better seat than I used to
  • Have the timing that SHE wants

****(Mostly meaning: when she's not busy doing other things)

During Megan's clinic with us, Lessee aboard

Comparing these short lists, generated in the last three minutes, I'd argue that Kat's been better at teaching me a way of life.

Jump schooling a few weeks ago

I'm kidding -- but only sort of. Kidding on the square. When Megan came out and worked with Kat's Lessee, she said that riding Kat is 'a bit like catching a fish.' in terms of how excellent your timing has to be to catch the rightness of the moments and help her know that we want more of that.

This statement REALLY stuck with me and I've been thinking about it a lot. Perhaps this is partnered with Megan's adamant insistence that Kat really IS fancy (I thought I was just biased...) but I think that Kat has trained me into accepting too little.

Yes, training is a journey, and yes, you have to ride the horse that shows up each day and yes.... so many other things. But the fact remains that Kat is a better horse than I am a rider and I don't want to make excuses for myself anymore. To remedy this: I've scheduled a lesson with the dressage trainer that Megan recommended for us. Today, in my schooling session, I asked for more from Kat than I have in a long time, in terms of really staying with me, staying awake, staying straight, staying round, etc. And she came to the table, despite the fact that there was construction in the woods and that was terrifying.

We worked on the fact that her hindquarters swing right in the halt, and we tackled the fact that when we serpentine she likes to drop her shoulder to the outside when we track left.

Maybe this is all very long-winded and doesn't say much. But it's my corner of the internet, you know? hahahaha


  1. YAY!! I'm so excited to hear how it goes! She's such a nice horse, just one of those horses who is going to take some extra time, but she'll be spectacular (well, more spectacular than she already is and more consistently) one day!

    1. It's the consistency part I'm stoked about

  2. The best ones drove us crazy & make us work for every little thing. Sprinkle some sassy mare'tude into the mix and it'll never be boring ;-)

  3. I'm so excited to hear more about how the lessons go!! And yea I definitely relate about being trained by a fiery opinionated mare lol. It almost happens subconsciously I think lol

    1. Way too long dressage lesson recap forthcoming (you will be disappointed in my media skillz. I had three teenagers in attendance and these are the photos they gave me.)

  4. I love the horses that teach us good things!

    1. :) They're all capable of teaching us, I think

  5. It's been really cool to see Kat and you grow together.