Early Days

Balance, balance, balance

Since getting home from our Shepherd schooling two weeks ago, time has flown by like a G6! I’ve had some major projects at work reach their climax points, last weekend was my best friend’s wedding (I was the proud Maid of Honor), plus a few other things too: Mothers’ day, other best friends’ birthday, mine and my fiancées 7 year anniversary, and brother’s birthday, just to name a few! When life gets this hectic, I just have to keep reminding myself to balance. I need to balance all of the external stimulation with some internal peace, balance my work with my personal life, balance my relationships with my self-time, balance all my stuff outside the house with some peace and quiet at home, balance the “Go-Go-Go!” with some slow, slow, slow.

Ironically, my last few rides have been all about balance too. Specifically: maintaining balance while moving into a faster canter and gallop. As a rather cerebral, analysis-driven person, I read articles and books and feel like I intellectually comprehend the major components and buzz-words of our sport. But, alas, whereas I *thought* I knew what balance at the canter was, now I really know what it is because I know what it feels like. Before when I pushed for a gallop , I let both of our forms come apart – all I cared about was gaining speed. At that time I thought balance really just meant that I was balanced over her body and that she was fairly straight. But now I know that the balance and stability at the gallop should be the same as the canter, just faster. It’s about her hind end being under her rather than behind her, about feeling uphill even if going downhill, and about being able to change speed and gaits at any moment due to our constant connection. I don’t need to hunch down like a jockey and throw my arms forward with flopping reins – I need to be able to feel like we could take a jump at any moment. =] That was my “aha!” moment this week.

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