Sometimes a week comes along where you make leaps and bounds, as opposed to the weeks where you feel like you are constantly hitting a wall in your progress. Thankfully this has been one of the more successful weeks. I am beginning to feel as though April and I are starting to forge the bonds of an actual partnership, and I feel like I am getting a better grip on understanding her by the day.
It's not to say that we have it all figured out, by any stretch. I really feel like I am just now reaching the precipice of where I want to go together. I have little threads in my grasp which I hope we can weave into a patchwork of success.
Two nights ago, we had a brilliant school on the flat. She was soft but forward, so willing to do whatever I asked. At one point, I literally thought about cantering, and we took off in the smoothest canter depart I have ever experienced. I walked away from that ride finally understanding what people mean when they say that they only have to think something, and the next moment they are executing it. That night was also the first time I felt a flying lead change - it was more of a happy accident that it came together so perfectly, but I went to sleep that night dreaming of what tempis changes must feel like....
Last night I hopped on April and needed to blow off a little steam. She was more than willing to oblige - after all, anything that involves FORWARD she is more than happy to participate in. We hit the power lines in back of the property, where our little ditch and telephone poles are. We did a little conditioning work, then went for our first little hand gallop with me working on balancing her between the leg and hand while at the half seat. We ended up schooling over our little obstacles a few times, and we found the perfect stride together...canter, canter, canter, fence, canter, canter, canter, ditch...as rhythmic as a song. Oh how I love it when we are in harmony - it is the most satisfying feeling in the world. Now it's not to say that we didn't run around with me flopping around like a fish a few times here and there...but I will never forget the rhythm of those two perfect fences. The picture of it will stay with me from this ride until the next time we hit it in sync. This- this very reason is why I love eventing. Where else can you dance through your dressage, feel that perfect flying change or canter depart, and then be cantering through the wide open blue towards a fence you have no doubt you will float over. And not a person around you exists, not a worry or care - it is you and your horse, in perfect harmony, and only the sound of hoofbeats drumming you along from one place to the next. It's heaven on earth - literally.