I made a decision this morning: I wasn’t going to rush.

Rush physically as in: from the house to the first bus stop, from the terminus to the bank machine to the next bus, from the bus to the taxi. As in mentally: doing the whole procedure in my head whilst my body moved it, not worry about what other people were doing, or, more to the point, not doing, as in, why are those people walking four abreast, why did that woman run right up my back, why is that man not watching where he’s going!? etc.

I wasn’t going to rush, I wasn’t going to get myself in that kaleidoscopic maelstrom of impatient movement and jittery mind set that, I fear, describes my general waking life.

It worked. Oh, I’d catch myself, and I’d slow down again. Caught myself hustling a bit to get to Rebel, but I cooled it waaaaay down, and wondered how this new state of being would translate itself into the lesson.

Well, it was a great day. I had my leg on, really on, really strong, and my heels were down. Ah. So that’s how that works. I kept it on, and then was therefore liberated to forget about it. He was narky into the first canter, and I found myself finally doing the thing that I have been bidden to do, to keep giving the aid firmly until he deigned to listen to it. Not with excess force, but with assertion. That was good. Didn’t even have to think about it. My legs are stronger.

We worked without stirrups for the middle section of the lesson. This is not difficult to do on Reb; if nothing else, his strides are delightful, even, and fluid, and I felt good and ‘sat’. I really did, wasn’t thinking about that either, wasn’t worrying about wobbling because there was no reason to worry, a self-fulfilling prophecy… or a self-fulfilling reality, more like.

Don’t you feel like you’re folding legs in half when you put them back in the irons? It’s hilarious. We cantered almost immediately, and the difference was remarkable. Have I found my seat? Have I? Time will tell, but the last canters were secure, bum firmly in, and I didn’t have to think about it, I just had to feel it. We cantered in the circle really well, and I knew it, I knew it, right then and there, I knew they were going to be good circles, and they were.

Today’s discovery was that I hunch up my right shoulder, and that I dip when I turn in the direction I want to go [on both sides.] Something else to be mindful of [sigh] but this may be — may be? Is! — the thing that’s throwing my balance to the four winds. We’ll see what the amatsu can do about that.

What an excellent day! A day I had greeted ruefully, another low, gray, sky, a feeling of not having slept soundly, which extrapolated into feeling like I was going to have a rubbish time of it. But I made my decision, which informed everything that followed upon it, and I felt, truly felt, like I’d made one of those silent little steps up in my horsewomanship.

Hmm. Must try that tranquility thing again tomorrow.

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