A delta. This is the place where the river flattens out and moves on to become the ocean. There can be no looking back. It will never be a river again. There are sometimes moments in the journey with a horse that are like that. There is a change and there can be no looking back. Here is a photo that is a bookmark on one side of that moment of change. It was taken by Susan J. Stickle , the official photographer for the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. It is of Biasini and me executing the pirouette in the Prix St. George dressage test. Take a look.
At first glance it might look alright. Or if you are not familiar with dressage you might think it is ok. As pirouettes go it is technically fine. Biasini is sitting well behind and his front legs are coming up nicely, it all looks fine. But……look at my arms! I usually ride with my arms out in front of me. My elbows are not usually almost behind my body and I have a firm hold on the reins. What’s wrong with that you ask? Well let me tell you.
I remember that ride very well. Biasini has one fault in the show ring . On some days he decides he knows the test and he can do it all on his own. He gets tough and he becomes a bully. I sometimes call him Mr. Bully Biasini. On this particular day he was Major General Bully Biasini. It was a very tough ride from beginning to end. It is very discouraging to have those rides. So much work and so many hours of training and when you get in the ring you are just struggling to keep going through the test instead of being able to show what we are capable of.
The next day I went in the ring again and I knew we had a judge who does not give away marks for just showing up. But this time I had prepared differently. Before getting ready I sat in the barn and visualized a beautiful ride. Biasini was up and light and responsive to may aids and we floated through the test. I decided to ride that imagined ride for real. The warm up went well and although it may not have been quite as blissful as the visualized ride it was very good.
We went into the ring and together we performed a lovely test. We got a good score and very positive comments from the judge. We won the class.
Since that time I have never allowed myself or Biasini to go back to the Bully mode. He does have moments of trying to take over but I quickly just give and lighten up and he responds. If the horse pulls and the rider pulls back the horse will always pull harder and win. If on the other hand you give to the horse and say “carry yourself” then he will stop pulling and be light in the hand. I may not have it perfectly yet but it is a long way from where we were. So the photo of the Major General Bully Biasini is my response to this week’s photo challenge. The word is delta. If my journey with Biasini is like a river then we have crossed the delta and now we are out on the ocean. An ocean full of opportunities.
To see some of the other responses click here. https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/delta/
To read my original post about the show that the photo was taken at click here: