…I ran into Bella, who said, “Hey, I’ll help, if you want.”
Hudson is over his abscess. Despite the fact it’s in a terrible site, he’s standing in mud, and conditions are far from optimal, he’s…fine. It’s healed over enough that a simple cleaning and (needleless) injection of betadine prevents evil bacteria from grabbing hold.
Hudson is sound, energetic, and good to go. We’ve been working. In the face of my trainer’s retirement, Bella offering to help me not suck is awesome for the following reasons:
- I’ve been in deep dressage gloom. How will I ever learn?
- She trained Hudson. She can look at us and know exactly what’s happening on both sides. She’s felt his evasions and when he’s trying to do it well.
- She knows dressage, having shown successfully through Grand Prix.
- I can hear her in a way I haven’t been able to hear other trainers.
- She doesn’t ride “through” me. I can repeat everything she’s said when I’m not in her presence. It’s a miracle!
- There is nothing vague about her instructions. It’s all concrete stuff I can do now.
- No difficult to grasp metaphors. Yet. Metaphors are good. But I need a lot of specifics. I always tell trainers I missed some of the basics and need remedial help, but somehow they didn’t see that, and thought it was modesty (?). Bella sees what I missed. Thank God.
- After two days of practice, people were stopping us in the arena, and asking me what I did to improve so dramatically.
- Her help is casual. It’s short(ish). It’s huge gift.
A few riders went so far as to claim I could clean up at first level if I’d just enter a dang show. (Doubt this.) None of my previous training was wrong or badly done. Good, kind trainers. Maybe I forgot stuff. Maybe I wasn’t ready. Maybe I was too nervous. Don’t know.
What I do know?
THERE’S HOPE FOR ME.
I had to write that in all caps, because it feels That Big.
Hudson, whom I thought hated dressage, is starting to become very interested. He has to perform, he has to think. Performing and thinking are his happy buttons.
He didn’t hate dressage, he hated how I was riding. It was fine when I was catch riding, because we only did stretchy stuff, and he got his intensity fix from Bella and roping. When that stopped, he didn’t get his adrenaline fix, and was just…bored.
Now he’s extremely interested in what we’re going to do next.
I also get the best possible positive feedback: if he does it wonderfully, it’s because I told him how to do it wonderfully.
“YOU asked him to do that,” Bella says, when I’m awestruck by a result, “He’s just doing what you asked him to do, remember that.“
It’s not a miracle. It’s not rocket science. It’s what he’s supposed to do when asked.
Really? There’s no secret club? No big revelation? You learn how, do it, and it works?
THAT’S the secret?