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Riding, Roman

[Riding] Roman Revealed

Today was a solo lesson, which ended up being more than a little intense. Roman fought me as usual at the beginning, but I went out with a dressage whip in hand so there was less trouble than usual.

But partway through the lesson, something seemed to click; I tried changing the length of the neck strap at Kara's suggestion, and suddenly Roman and I were communicating much better around the corners. After another round or so of Roman being recalcitrant, we just sort of synched. I went from having to really fight for it to doing five nonstop laps through the course that Kara set up (two sets of trotting poles, traffic cones to wind around, and a small jump). When the lesson ended and Kara called out to drop back to a walk to let us both cool down, neither Roman nor I wanted to stop.

We've had one or two other moments of synch, but never quite like this. This was a chance to see the actual Roman in action, with all his speed, endurance and agility. (There's a reason he's a reserve champion; if you can actually make him DO things, he's astonishing.) It was very, very rewarding.

I also found out that folks have been commenting on how pretty Roman looks; I tend to show up early so I can give him extra attention with the grooming, and to stay late to groom him really thoroughly afterwards. (I actually spend at least as much time grooming as I do riding every week!) So evidently, though I'm a beginning rider, I've gotten a reputation for being a really thorough groom.

Various students can volunteer to help out at the local shows, to watch the horses and groom them between levels and so on. Kara and I talked about that, and I'm going to go in on Saturday to have a half-hour lesson on hoof-polishing suitable for showing. If things don't look too overly busy this weekend, I'll be one of the students showing up to help as a volunteer groom for the school horses at a show in the area on Sunday. (Kara claims this is another little movement down that slippery slope, but I dispute that; I come in on weekends to groom the horses ANYWAY.)

Rewarding lesson in all, and after I had cleaned up and stored the tack, cleaned the box-tie, and cleaned up Roman's stall, I sat in his stall and cuddled him for a bit. Horse-hugs are great.

...of course, being stuck in traffic for nearly an hour on the way home, that was less fun, but that's just part of the price of living in a metropolitan area. :P


Wow, fantastic! Those few moments of synthesis between horse and rider are so wonderful; how exciting that you got to drop into the groove like that!