Learning from the Ground

Good morning and happy Monday! I thought I would hammer out a quick post between Monday morning phone calls and the farrier visit at noon today. My weekend was filled with horses, the fiance, a really disappointing NASCAR race for Danica, and a lot of cooking. Obviously the best part was the horse part... don't tell my fiance. 

The barn owner and I hopped in the rig early Saturday morning around 5:45 with her sale horse Louis and Ray her competition horse. After a few minutes of horsey musical chairs to determine who wanted to be where we were off headed for Chatt Hills (which is stinking beautiful.) I knew we were schooling Louis for the upcoming Young Event Horse competition at Cedar Ridge this weekend and I knew Ray was going to pop over some fences. Otherwise I wasn't sure what we were doing but I was going no matter what which made me happy.

Come to find out as we were pulling up we were meeting up with Sarah Dunkerton an advanced rider who just recently moved to Newnan. She was putting on a schooling day and my barn owner would be riding in 2 of her sessions. Even better I was going to get to learn from not one person but about 5 in total. Why 5? Because I would get to watch all the riders and listen in to Sarah's teaching and pick Zeb's brain about why she did what when she did it later. 

And it was exactly as great as it sounds. I think a lot of riders forget the importance of learning from the ground and soaking up everything you can. For me it's a constant chance to absorb everything. Coming from the world of saddleseat and dabbling on the eventer side for years to now finally having a horse in training - there's a learning curve and it is super steep. For me just learning the proper placement of breastplates to how to properly present a jump to a young horse is an adventure. 

Which is why I take any and all chances to learn whether it be from on the ground while others ride in a clinic to hopping on and asking every question I can think of even if it is a beginner question or theoretically a 'stupid question.' The only question that is stupid for me in this stage is the question I don't ask. Because honestly it could be the one that keeps me from injuring my horse or myself or doing something insanely stupid on Cross Country.

So hop off your horse and follow everyone around and learn. Admit when you're confused or embarrassed and learn from it. The people who make fun of you are the ones who are afraid to ask the embarrassing questions and they're the ones who will fail in the long run.

So go get your horseless course walk on!