I can over think things a smidge.
In my desire to control my experience (and the outcome: ha), I try to make it linear and logical-ish. I attempt to ride correctly, read the horse, figure out the next best move, and not drop the chalk. First I do A, then I do B: if that works, we will get C. Right?
This usually ends up with Jane trying to walk in a straight line, holding the reins too tightly.
Then a horse bolts, bucks, or spins, and a Solid Jane rolls her eyes, takes over, and is perfectly comfortable and confident up there. I decided to interview her. Pardon the insanity.
Jane: I saw you riding Queenie yesterday when those horses got loose, what did you do to stay so relaxed while she was sidling around and trying to bolt?
Jane: I don’t know? She wasn’t trying to unload me, she just felt young again. She was being silly and happy, that made me laugh, so I just let her get a little of it out?
Jane: You mean the cantering in place and trying to bolt? You do realize she was cantering in place while you were chatting with Alice, right? With loose horses dashing around. On the road.
Jane: Oh yeah. I forgot about that. Is that what she was doing? I liked the rolling feeling, that was fun. Alice and I were in the middle of a great conversation…I was blocking the road with Queenie’s body so Steve could drive the loose horses back into the paddock.
Jane: FUN? What aids did you use to keep her from bolting? How did you keep her still? She was higher than a kite.
Jane: It was fun. We were in it together. It was easy. Aids?
Jane: But what did you DO?
Jane: Um. Kept her inside my legs and arms? I don’t know. It’s not rocket science. You have to feel it and react. I didn’t think about it?
Jane: Are you CRAZY? Of course it’s rocket science! It’s dressage! Impulsion! Precision! Angles! Lift! Suspension! Helloooo…instructor shouting: “stay straight on your circles!” Sounds like calculus to me. You practically need a master’s degree in mathematics to get to 4th level.
Jane: Riding is…FEEL. I don’t know anything about dressage, I know what staying on and connected feels like though?
Jane: Do you know what you could do in dressage if you rode like THAT in the arena?
Jane: Um. Do I care? And why can’t I ride like that in the arena?
Jane: Exactly. You can, and I can’t.
Jane: Of course you can! You’re me, you idiot.
We will now pause for station identification. You are tuned into The Literary Horse: The Psychosis Hour. We will return to our regularly scheduled programming after a word from our sponsors: several highly esteemed members of the pharmaceutical industry.
Yikes, gotta run, I’m nearly late for the psychiatrist hairdresser!
Jane: (Is she gone yet? Great.) Okay everyone, whatever your discipline: it’s in there. You can already do it, it’s NOT rocket science. We show up, we practice, we do it wrong, we do it right, we practice some more, we get fit, and voila, when the rocket starts to move, we go right along with it, and it’s FUN.