We started down the sides of the arena to work on the all more difficult aspect of riding a horse, going straight. This seems to be an issue for a lot of riders, go figure, we work on circling all too often so that when we, as riders, want to go straight we have issues getting it perfect. Granted I walk straight all the time on Willy but it’s not the collected “dressagey” (to use a word from Laurie ;-) ) type of walking straight. Since delving into this dressage type world I’ve learned a lot, anyone can ride a horse but to ride well in the classical sense is kind of like comparing ballet to break dancing. Dressage is the ballet of the horse world and I’m certainly not even up to par with the “training” level classes; not that I want to show but still, I digress.
In a nutshell if a horse is turned away from the fence line the arch they make actually puts my knee into the fence, whereas by turning her nose into the fence she arches in a way that puts her nose and rear closest to the fence and my knee is in a safe, happy place. “Okay….I’m kinda getting that” I think as my adrenaline lowers and Laurie mounts up to actually show me what she means. Divine was apparently throwing a wrench into the game as well. She wasn’t properly responding to my aids; the ones Laurie had been telling me to use and that I was trying to apply to the best of my harried mind. Laurie worked her through it and showed me what she was doing. She then had me stand in front of Divine along the fence as she walked up the arena towards me. I could see that turning Divine's nose towards the fence and pressing with the outer leg really did get her away from the fence. I think the movement of Divine’s head towards the fence freaked me out in my panicked state so that I didn’t let the action follow through enough to finally realize that yes, indeed those aids will get my knee back to safety. Sometimes you just need to actually see things you know?