I had an epiphany this weekend and I think it's because I was schooling my grand-daughter and got to see it from a different perspective. It's a basic, basic, basic truth our teachers are telling us all the time.
Keep your head up and your eyes on where you're going.
How many times has an instructor told me this, let me count the ways. Infinite and infinite.
But here I am teaching my 9 year old grand-daughter to lope for the first time and as I'm warming up, Cowboy keeps dropping his shoulder. I start to think something's wrong with him and then the epiphany--I'm looking at his shoulder! I'm looking at the ground in front of me, too, as if I'm steering him clear of potential mishaps, and as I look down, of course he goes there.
It hit me--how in the world can I know his feet better than he can? They're not my feet. Certainly, the one who can best decide where to put his feet is him! So, for the first time in all this long time with horses, I finally made a real decision to trust that he knows how to run without falling, and I just looked where I wanted to go and, lo and behold, we went there as easy as that and it was the closest thing to flying I've ever felt.
I was telling my grand-daughter the many things I've been told--when you look at where you want to go, your body directs your horse there...when you look up and move with your horse, he can move freely under you...you're buoyant and you're light and your horse can finally do what he does best.
I wonder which thing makes you get that flying feeling most--the actual loping on your horse or the trust you give him.
I'm thinking maybe the trust.