If you’re anything like me, when you’re not riding you’re daydreaming about riding. ‘Tis the life, amirite? There are some things I daydream a lot more about than others. Some of these things are for functionality purposes — I daydream a lot about dressage exercises, for example — and some of them because they are fucking awesome and I want to do them all the time!!!!!! Here are some of the things in riding I think are fucking awesome and I want to do them all the time!!! In no particular order.
Not cantering uphill, but this is the ever-faithful Quincy
I will never forget the first time I cantered uphill. It was the first time I schooled Camelot with Quincy, and when we cantered up the hill I was immediately struck by how powerful he felt. He was so honest and game and just surging up that hill. To this day it remains one of the coolest feelings I know.
Four beat gallop
It wasn’t until this year that I really felt how fast Murray could move, but even before that I knew that a real gallop was awesome and felt amazing. Lots of horses I’ve been on can get a pretty big canter when they’re in the Great Outdoors, but there’s just something about that moment a canter transitions to a true four beat gallop that is badass. With Murray, it usually coincides with a flattening and stretching of his stride and, if he’s trying to catch someone, a distinct lack of steering.
A balanced canter transition
Okay also not quite a canter transition… or balanced…. or happy. They are sometimes rare.
When I first started leasing in addition to weekly lessons, I would always daydream about cantering. Just cantering around. Something about the rocking-horse motion of the canter just mesmerized me. Now I specifically daydream about really lovely, balanced, trot-canter transitions. I love the way your horse seamlessly pushes off with that outside foot to rock you into the canter. That I can appreciate.
When pony puts in that extra sproing from a perfect takeoff point
Sometimes when I’m cantering down to a jump I see the perfect spot and then to top it all off, Murray gets a little extra pep in his step and just bounds over the fence. You get some sweet hang time and it usually doesn’t jump me out of the tack, and never fails to make me feel like “damn, my horse can jump.”
Rocketship canter transitions
I know I said that I love a balanced canter transition, but there’s also something about those rocketship canter transitions that I can’t help but love too. In this case it’s the attitude about it. When I turn Murray to face an XC fence he’s feeling confident about, or as we leave the start box, he kinda balances back and LEAPS forward with this “I GOT THIS” attitude. It’s the best.
Trot to square halt
As is fitting of a fairly lazy boy, Princess Murray can pull out some pretty fantastic down transitions. On a good day, he will trot trot trot down centerline and BOOM. Square halt. Drop the mic.
Feeling totally centered and rock solid in the middle of pony antics
When Murray is getting silly out on cross country warm up, there’s nothing to do but laugh, right? I mean, sure, I can get cross about it and pull him up. Or I can let the guy have his fun and ride it out because I know that when we get down to work, he’ll (probably) be there for me. But the part about these antics that I actually enjoy (other than the ridiculous photo ops)? They show me how much my riding has improved and how rock solid my leg and seat can be. And how much I looooove my poh-neh.
The happiest I’ve ever looked on a horse (because I somehow always look miserable)
What about you guys? Any other feelings in riding you adore?