Today’s Guest Post is from Jennifer Walker, author of Bubba Goes National and the other Riders of Green Meadow books. This post is part of her blog tour for her new release, Bubba to the Rescue.
Haven’t I Told You That?
The thing about riding horses, and I think this is particularly true when it comes to dressage, is that there are approximately a half a million things a rider has to master and think about at any one time while riding. Every part of your body is doing something different, and every part of your horse’s body is doing something different, and somehow you’re supposed to coordinate it all and ride circles and shoulder-ins and flying changes and the like all at the same time. Oh, and don’t forget the half halts!
The point is, there’s a lot to learn and remember. The frustrating thing is that no matter how many times my trainer tells me something, like to shorten my reins and move my hands forward, I just keep slipping back into my bad habits. Next thing you know, my hands are attached to my stomach and my horse is curled up behind the bit. Why do I do that?
The funny part about this is that if I take a lesson from someone else or get a critique on a photo or video, someone will tell me the exact same thing and suddenly it will click. I’ll go back and tell my trainer, “So and so told me to shorten my reins and move my hands forward!” and she’ll say, “Haven’t I told you that?”
I’m helping out a young rider at my boarding stable, letting her ride my horse and giving her some pointers. I’ll tell her things like opening the outside rein and pushing the horse over to the wall with her inside leg, and she’ll say, “Oh! OK!” like it’s a new thing. Then her mom pipes up with, “Haven’t I told you that?”
I guess it’s a pretty universal thing. I’ve done a lot of teaching in different venues on different topics, and it never fails. Either someone tells me that they’d heard such-and-such before and never understood it until I explained it, or I explain something in as many different ways as I can and they still don’t get it, but go to someone else and it clicks right away. What can you do?
It just goes to show you, learning any skill isn’t easy, especially if you want to rise to the highest levels. Whether it’s because different teachers have different explanations for the same topics, or because you just need a concept drilled into your head over and over and over and over again before it finally sinks in, you never stop learning…and you’d be surprised how much you can learn from just about anyone.
Jennifer Walker is a freelance writer, editor, and novelist living in Northern California.
Her two books, Bubba Goes National and Bubba to the Rescue, are both available in print or digital editions from www.twintrinitybooks.com and other online retailers. Bubba Goes National was reviewed at this site for Sunday Book Reviews: Read the review!
Find out more about Jennifer and her work at www.authorjennwalker.com.
Bubba to the Rescue: