To ride dressage is to dance with your horse, equal partners in the delicate and sometimes difficult work of creating harmony and beauty.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

High-tech rides and the challenge of change

On Thursday I worked until time to meet up with my two friends to carpool to our clinic. Kate showed up with her husband's "magic car," so of course that became the designated transportation. We got a high-tech ride before our scheduled high-tech rides!
From the outside, the Tesla Model X looks kinda like my VW Jetta on steroids. In reality, it more closely approximates a space ship. WOW.WOW.WOW.

ANYway. Back to our scheduled programming.

I was nominated to ride the mechanical horse first. As I expected, it was humbling to see, there on the screen in front of me, how I looked on a "horse." It is a challenge to get all one's parts properly aligned, hips over heels, shoulders over hips, ears over shoulders! That last one was my particular difficulty – me and my vulture neck. Trying to correct it caused physical discomfort in my upper thoracic vertebrae area that lingered for the rest of the day, which was rather discouraging. Jessica reminded us, however, that change doesn't happen overnight.

Jane was next, and her position showed marked improvement since her demo ride at our chapter meeting – yay, Jane! Because of that, Jessica was able to put Amerika through all three gaits to fine-tune Jane's position (all my work was done at the standstill and walk).
Kate also did well; she had the best neck alignment of the three of us. Jessica was able to work with her at the halt, walk, and trot. On our ride home, Kate remarked that she had mostly signed up for an evening of camaraderie but ended up learning a LOT; she and Jane both plan on going back for more sessions.
I probably won't, only because of budget constraints. But I, too, learned a lot, and continue practicing what I learned. That didn't go so well on a moving horse yesterday; poor Lance had to put up with me battling my own poor position habits while trying to communicate clearly with him. Fortunately, working to make better alignment my new normal can be done out of the saddle – as I'm sitting and standing and walking. Surprisingly, my low back/SI is already happier because of what I'm working on! My neck and shoulders are going to take longer to retrain, but I'm going to keep working on them; some old habits die harder than others. ;-)


thecrazysheeplady said...

I would love/hate to see what that could show me.

Michelle said...

Exactly, Sara! Love/hate....

Theresa said...

Oh gosh, I can only imagine what my trail ride slouch looks like. Glad you have this wonderful opportunity though.

Mary said...

That is really cool! I would love to try this.

A :-) said...

Tesla! swanky! You can tell I'm a city girl, can't you. :-D

Michelle said...

Theresa, it would be great to be able to get a few more lessons on Amerika to reinforce better habits, but I'm trying hard to practice would I learned. The thing is, the correct position really is the most secure position, which trail riders need!

Come up for a visit and DO it, Mary!

That Tesla is SO cool, A. And since it belongs to one of my best friend's husbands, I'll get to ride in it again!