I love dressage because it makes me think. I hate dressage because it exposes my weak body control and awareness.
But I love dressage because it exposes my mind.
I love jumping because it exposes my heart.
I love cross country because it exposes my courage.
But tonight, it was all about my brain. My second dressage lesson with my neighbor was twice as illuminating as the first, if that's even possible. Brego was more forward, but still more sluggish that I would have liked. But it was all about me, me, me me me.
It's all about my twisted right shoulder that creeps forward, negating the boundaries set by my right hand when tracking left. Woops, there goes my outside rein, my rock, my pillar, my wall.
It's all about my brain, computing angles, planning transitions, anticipating Brego's mysterious magnetic pull to the exit of the arena.
It's all about my hands, both harbingers of good and evil, giving, taking, rewarding, discouraging.
It's all about my ears, or my balance, feeling him drift, collapse right, always right. At the halt, at the transitions, up and down, it's all about right with Brego. So I have to out think right. And fix that damn right shoulder, which actually resulted in me riding with my head looking backwards over my right shoulder, looking where we have just been, backwards. And then lo, the horse went straight.
That's what I love about dressage. It doesn't make any sense if you think about it logically, but if you just use your brain and your balance, it works.
What tonight was NOT about was riding the front of the horse, what it was not about was a head set, or a flash nose band, or short cuts. My trainer and I agree on that, thankfully.
When I could get Brego straight, his right shoulder properly in front of his rear, his spine aligned, it's like Brego super charged. Huge power, indescribable power. But I've been siphoning off that power by letting his outside shoulder escape, especially to the right. Dressage is all about the minute corrections, the impossibly small differences that turn a trotting draft horse into a spectacle.
His canter, if I say so myself, was completely delicious. I just grinned from ear to ear.
I've said it before, and I will say it again. I am the luckiest person alive.