Monday, October 30, 2006


Sadly there is no photo to document the magic of today's riding lesson on Keil Bay. Keil has a huge, grand, floating trot that I have seen in the fields since the day I brought him home... but under saddle it was a big trot for me to ride. We've hit it off and on in our work together - sometimes he was on and I was off, other times vice versa.

Today, we were doing focused lateral work and my wonderful trainer was pushing both of us to get it right. Something about me being extra tough with Keil (very hard for me to do, as I generally think he hung the moon no matter what he does!) opened up that gorgeous trot and for the first time ever, I was riding it very very well. We've had stretches of canter that were like this - as though his feet aren't even touching the ground. Light and weightless, in sync. And it didn't stop the entire lesson.


It's made my whole week.


Anonymous said...

Billie - I finally made it over here! Very nice. There is nothing like the thrill of riding a horse well. Mind you, I've only ridden a few times. But once, just once, I got it right. The horse was onery. Everyone said I had to whip him to get him to do anything. I never did whip him. I used my legs to tell him who was boss (now THERE'S an image!). And he got it. And we flew through the forest. When I got back everyone at the stable wanted to sell him to me. LOL

Glad you had a good ride. There's nothing like it.

billie said...

Welcome, Joni, glad to see you here! I have added your blog to my daily viewing...:) I love the name - Mantis in a Teacup - what a great image!

And good poetry on your site...

Yes, the riding has been a wonderful thing to come back to after 20+ years out of the saddle. I had no idea when I started back and decided to study dressage that it would become such a zen practice for me.

As you know having done it with the ornery horse, using the legs is pretty amazing when it works. Keil is huge and very strong, and while my legs are long enough to get a good fit around his barrel, having the strength to be able to maintain the leg aids through an entire work-out has been an ongoing process! I do carry a whip when riding but he mostly needs one or two corrections with that just so he knows I'm asking for the good stuff. :) He can slug around all day long, but when he turns it on, he is stunning.

I think the ornery horse probably appreciated your sensibility in using leg first and not going straight to the whip... they are very wise that way.

Thanks for giving me the chance to write more about riding. :) Come back to visit!


Anonymous said...

That is so wonderful that you get to do dressage and live on a horse farm. Very nice.

In high school my husband did Steeplechase for several years. Except, being rather anti-authoritarian he insisted on doing Steeplechase competitions in camoflage pants and army boots. People didn't particularly like seeing him (in his non-traditional dress) take the blue ribbon in competitions. He, of course, relished their disdain in a thumb-your-nose kind of way. LOL

And thanks for the compliment on my site. I greatly appreciate it. And I should return the compliment - although I've only gotten to read a couple of your pieces here - I've enjoyed them quite a lot. I look forward to bouncing around your site more as well. Looks like there's lots of good stuff here and on the rest of it.

billie said...

It's funny that you mention your husband riding steeplechases (and winning!) in camo and army boots... we went trick or treating on horseback tonight and my son was basically dressed just that way. :)

We were NOT doing any galloping/jumping though!

I would love to know more about your poetry - will keep reading as you put more up. (and I intend to go back and read some of the older posts too)

Happy Halloween...:)