Sunday, September 16, 2012

keil bay notches things up and I spring both into, and out of, the saddle

So this morning I went out and tacked up the Big Bay in advance of a rainy afternoon, determined to keep up our rides so that we can both get back in the groove before autumn proper.

I sprang into the saddle for the third day in a row, oh so proud of myself and very happy with life in general.

I'm not timing our trot sets because I don't wear a watch normally and in fact don't own one at this point in my life - so I'm increasing our work each day based on how many times we trot around the perimeter of the arena (which is bigger than 20x40m but not as long as 60m). Each day I'm increasing by one rotation in each direction.

Today we were up to 5 each way. After a lengthy warm up at the walk, some of which was directed by me and some directed by Keil Bay, we started into our trot work. Trotting to the right is generally the easier direction for both of us, and it happened that we started that way today. We had a nice, rhythmic, very passable trot set to the right. I told Keil Bay that we were making good progress and I was happy with our work together.

Then we took a walk break again and after a little while I organized myself and we headed left and picked up the trot.

One rotation, same as we just did to the right.  I think I was telling Keil Bay that we just had four more to go, as if he needed to hear that the end of the work was near.

Second rotation, a little hop skip and attempt to leap into the canter. I'm not sure if Keil wanted to canter, or if he simply preferred cantering to the left over trotting to the left, but I asked him to stay at the trot, so he said, Fine, M'aam, and proceeded to turn on his huge, gigantic power mode trot.

Well. I really had to up my game to stay with this huge trot. I have been really careful bringing us both back into work as I didn't want to make either of us sore or push too hard. Today, Keil Bay said ENOUGH with the senior citizen mode, we are going directly to power mode and Yes, You Can Do This!

By the third rotation I had sort of settled in with the feeling that we were going to motor right through the arena fence and end up two farms down the lane, and was enjoying the ride. I think it was during the fourth that I began to employ many half halts and made some effort to bring things back down a notch. We finished the fifth rotation on a nice, even keel, and went down to walk from there.

I was so jazzed by Keil Bay's coaching me forward with such vigor that when it came time to dismount, I attempted to spring OUT of the saddle with the same youthful bounce I have suddenly regained getting into it.

This did not work quite the same way. I sprang out but didn't remove my foot from the stirrup quite fast enough to keep up with my body. I did a sort of rolling dismount down to the ground and onto my back. Keil Bay looked mortified and did two skittering steps away from me as if trying to get away from a loose cannon. Then he stopped and just looked at me.

There was no actual hitting the ground - it really did feel like I just rolled gently backwards like one of those Weeble toys except I didn't actually roll back up onto my feet. I had to stand up. No harm done except to my pride.

Although Keil Bay obviously feels we're ready to move on with some big movement and forward motion, I think I need a couple more rides to get back in the groove all the way. But by coaching me to Just Do It, he reminded me that sometimes slow and steady needs to yield to simply leaping forward - not only in riding but in life itself.

As usual, he shows me something in the arena that ripples out through the other areas of my life - writing, living, being.

Thanks, Keil Bay. You're the very best coach a woman could have.


Calm, Forward, Straight said...

With the weather returning to it's senses finally - it has been delightful on the coast too - I hope Val and I will be joining you and Keil Bay in the ring for more than meandering. ;D

billie said...

Just be careful when springing out of that saddle! :)

Music for today's second trot set would have been something by Collective Soul. We were truly motoring.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Your ride sounds invigorating. Sorry to hear that springing out of the saddle didn't turn out as well as your ride.

Don't you just love it when you feel like you've done something a little silly and the horse actually agrees. I've done stuff like this many times and get such a kick out of the looks I'll get from the horse.

billie said...

I know, A, it was funny - the look on his face was sort of like "get ahold of yourself, woman!" Pretty priceless.

It's raining today and I have a full schedule with teens so we are having a day off. Will see what tomorrow brings. :)

Matthew C. said...

You translate life on November Hill into such wonderful writing. Such a talent!

billie said...

Thanks, Matthew - I appreciate your support in all things November Hill.