Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ballroom Dancing

      I've been at Devonwood in Oregon for the past several days with our Hunter mare Rosie's First Gold (aka "Tilly", now 2012 Region 4 Champion Working Hunter 3'3"-3'6" and Champion Hunter Hack) so this blog is a little shorter than usual since I just got back in the door and have to change my own "tack" in a hurry to get back on the road with the Trail horses in time for this week's Region 5 Championship!          
     Watching Angela Wilson ride Tilly though makes me think of watching a wonderful dancing team.  Ballroom dancing is not my forte but I like watching it and I always equate riding with dancing.  Horses are our partners (yes, I know - I'm always harping on this!).  When this partnership is achieved it is amazing, wonderful and even joyful to experience.  And, it's great to watch a good team work (or dance) together.
     I tell my students it's like dancing a waltz.  You lead and they follow.  It's very much like listening to music and following the rythym, you don't need to count beats, just feel the "music".  Sometimes I have my students close their eyes, release the reins and ride.  It's lovely to see them relax and learn to trust and feel on another level (and obviously we don't do this on "hyper" or green horses and only in an enclosed area with supervision).
     Good horse and rider teams can make difficult things seem effortless.  A subtle communication between horse and rider.  To me, this brings horsemanship to a level of art.  The art of horsemanship should be every horseman's goal!  See you next week, JD.

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