My Sunday was largely taken up in trying not to bounce, while bouncing and feeling full of bounce. That is to say that we went to give R another session on her favourite pony, and I then deserted the gathering and headed into the hills on my favourite horse. The course taken saw the stream pictured here crossed a number of times, and some spectacular views from higher spots on the trail.
The art of riding a cantering horse is to move in such a way that one bounces at the same time as the saddle, so one’s bottom remains in place. I have heard a number of instructors try and explain how one does that. I mean, a body sent into motion tends to stay in motion, so when the saddle sharply propels one upward, stops abruptly, and then goes down again, it stands to reason that one’s bottom will simply keep on rising for a while. Yet it is possible to keep one’s seat firmly in the saddle even on a jouncy canter.
None of the explanations about swaying one’s body or gripping with knees really seem to help much. The one that works for me has always been that one simply thinks oneself into staying glued. By an effort of will you get your body to move up and down and forward at the same rate as the horse’s back is doing. A spot spooky, actually.
R had some fun, as did the others. We ran into the family of colleagues of Younger Daughter there, so while I was riding the other adults yakked and R played with their kids. The fact that at one stage it involved her in being in an upright barrel, and not knowing how to get out, added to the fun. We were going to the rescue until friend’s mother said, ‘Hold on a minute; let’s see if they figure out a way to solve the problem.’ Sure enough, her daughter T (older than R) eventually climbed in herself and hoisted R from beneath. .
I found it very cute when T offered R some of a packet of crisps she had been given, and in accepting them R responded, and I quote directly, ‘Thank you, T; that is very kind of you.’
© May 2011 Colonialist (Letterdash/Wordpress)