Friday, December 01, 2006

collection at the trot

Keil Bay has been having a right hind glitch this week - a couple of "hitches" at the trot on Sunday and Monday - so our work has been light. I panic a little when he's off, but determined to ride through it, focusing on the things we could do together that would keep him moving and using his back and hind quarters without stress.

Yesterday we were doing lots of walk with intermittent trot transitions. My focus was my own position, keeping him in a very forward gait, and trying to make those transitions smooth and effective.

We came around the short end of the arena at a trot and suddenly something clicked with my seat and his movement. I was sitting the trot about as good as I ever have, and I'm not sure what else I was doing, but suddenly the trot became very very collected, he went on the bit perfectly, and we trotted the entire long side in this amazing symphony of horse and rider at collection. At one point it almost felt like we were slowing to piaffe, nothing I have ever done before. (piaffe is a trot that is virtually in place, the collection is so complete)

I have no idea where this came from. I tried to repeat it again later in the ride, but couldn't get it. It's the first time I've ever ridden that kind of movement on any horse - leave it to Keil Bay to have an off week and yet throw in something so incredible in the midst of it.

It was control and grace and harmony woven into forward motion and balance and stillness. Such a gift in the midst of an otherwise very hectic week.


dh said...

Your writing is so delicious, how you see and experience life, and then describe it for the page. . .

Joni said...

Wow. That sounds incredible.

billie said...

I wish I could put a really well-done piece of video up to show his stunning trot. He was doing it today in the paddock before lunch, which I hope means his right hind is better for tomorrow's lesson.

I've been giving him Traumeel this week in hopes that it would nip the glitch.

I've been achy this week myself - he and I are on the same wavelength physically. :)

There's really no true way to describe how it feels to really ride that floating trot, even if for only a few strides. It's beyond words.

The best part of it is, when it happens, he feels the harmony too, and it has perfect grace and resonance.

Riding Keil Bay is like church for me.


Joni said...

Riding Keil Bay is like church for me.

Astounding. What a perfect way to put it.