in horses, riding

no this is not the face moss makes when I ride him, well not often, thank goodness

Although I’m sure there have been many, many times where he’s wished I’ve figured things out just a liiiiiiiiiittle bit faster. This is, in fact, the face of one of the horses in the Elgin marble exhibit at the British Museum. Aside from the oddness factor that is a horse head just…sitting there on a pedestal…this one also has one of the more stressed facial expressions I’ve ever seen.

Luckily, when you’re riding, it’s difficult to really see the horse’s face, although Moss likes to make up for this when he gets testy by sticking his tongue out and making it. very. clear. that he disagrees with whatever I might be asking/how I might be asking it/whether or not there really is a monster over in the corner disguised as a pony.

I’ve been taking a series of jumping lessons recently, both because I’m going back to visit everyone in California and want to be at least familiar with what jumping feels like again and because I think it’s important to both mix up the horses I ride and what I focus on.  It’s also become more and more apparent that Moss is a very, very, very nice horse.  The amount of huffing, puffing, and sweating I do in the jumping lessons is just, well, pathetic.  I’m quite out of shape. Recently, though, I’ve also noticed that I’ve gotten a bit lazy with the precision and commitment of my aids.  I’ve decided to start really, really, really focusing on two things: my left leg and canter/trot transitions. I think if I improve my left leg a lot of my jumping issues will melt away because most of them have to do with horses not being straight (because, uh, my stronger right leg is pushing them over, so, yeah, all my fault), and I think if I really work on trot/canter transitions it will help us stay steadier in general (since we’ll both be more focused and “up”), and Moss really seems to settle in that particular transition, which should maybe help lessen the number of occurrences of “the face.”

It feels only fair to mention all the reading I’ve been doing lately, and the fact that I get to give away forty-eight copies of Love in the Time of Cholera on World Book Night. It’s quite cool to think I’ll get to participate in something that will end with a million books being given away at the end of a Saturday evening. That, plus the recent arrival of the first Ribblestrop book (and a re-read of Redwall in memory of Brian Jacques) means that I’ve got a lot of interesting books to read, if work doesn’t get in the way too much, of course.