I have heard people say that bravery isn’t the absence fear. It’s doing something in spite of being afraid.
Well, I forced myself to be brave on Monday.
I’m still struggling with connection on Phil. The strong steady leg has worked really well to help him focus and to get him to go to my hand. But I felt that he really wasn’t maintaining the steady connection that I wanted. He seemed to go to my hand, then come up, then root around and push down on the bit. He just seemed unsettled.
So I thought back to when I was riding Lee and was trying to get connection with him. I remember my trainer saying “Just let him go. I think he gets frustrated when he wants to go forward and you stop him.” Maybe I was letting my fear get the best of me and was stopping Phil a bit too much.
Mind you, this horse has jumped straight up in the air, taken off with me in a panic, and bulldozed almost into the wall when I tried to use my leg when I first got him. Therefore I’ve been a bit cautious with this whole “strong leg” thing. But maybe I just needed to let him go.
So I did. I put my leg on him and just went with it. He gave me some very big, strong strides, and it felt really good. However, we were covering a lot of ground, and it was hard for me to tell if our tempo was maybe too quick.
I had my friend Debbie make a short video of me riding Phil tonight. Here it is -
I'd say that he doesn't look too quick, but he does look too short in the neck, and still not steady enough. Needs more reach into my hand with a longer neck and more constant contact.
I'm going to send the video to my trainer and get her take on it. What do you all think?