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May 2011
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Everybody Needs Lessons

I checked my calendar and the last time I took a lesson was on June 23rd, 2009.  2009! That’s ridiculous upon first glance.  It might be ridiculous no matter how you look at it.  And while there are quite a few pretty good explanations (finishing a draft of my novel, completing my teaching fellowship, revising my thesis, earning my MFA, getting pregnant with The Kid…), I really wish I’d taken some lessons in the past two years.  It isn’t that I stopped taking my riding seriously.  It’s just that I put my riding goals on hold while I worked on some other important things.  While I’m a big believer in the idea that what you focus on expands, I haven’t yet been able to make that apply to time.  Honestly, I think I could use at least 5 more hours each day.

But the novel has been with the editor for almost a month and The Kid is almost three and a half months now and so on Sunday, I took a lesson!  I scrapped the idea of going to the dressage show and decided that my money would probably be better spent on educating myself.  Even though it’s frustrating that we started off pretty disconnected and neither Sadie nor I are fit, it was really reassuring to feel that we could indeed still get a dressage horse trot and a light, airy canter.  It was great to really have a looooong wall to practice shoulder-in and haunches-in and to see in those mirrors that yep, I still have a tendency to overdo it and ask Sadie for too much.  And darn it all if I don’t still have to be reminded to stop chasing Sadie with my leg and asking her to go a click or two too fast.  Did I learn anything new?  Not exactly.  But it’s important to have eyes on the ground telling me exactly that moment when we’ve managed to get that springy trot and that round canter and someone to remind me of exercises to get us to those moments more easily.

ooh!  It gets me excited about what we might be able to accomplish when we really are ready to go to a show.  I just might want to take a few more lessons first.

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