Walking And Chewing Gum…Or Not

For some, being graceful is effortless. Just watch a ballerina or Miss America glide across the stage…And then there are those of us who had mothers who called us “Grace,” but it had an entirely different meaning.

My mother tried to instill graceful movement in me from a young age. I was enrolled in ballet, tap dance, baton, and gymnastics. They all ended with me failing to thrive and show any measurable progress. I was never enrolled in any sport with a ball; eye/hand coordination is key to success in that realm. Probably at wits end, my mom let me try riding.

Shockingly, I was not half bad. I could somehow balance on a 1000 pound moving equine even though I could trip on a perfectly flat surface and fall up the stairs.

Unfortunately, my lack of coordination is now haunting me as Ike and I forge forward with our attempt at our USDF Silver Medal.

Sure we had success last fall with our debut at Fourth Level. But, as I pointed out to my friend, Fourth One is really “Fourth-Level-Lite.” When I finally read tests 2 and 3, I realized how unprepared we are. Tempi changes, the canter zigzag, and partial canter pirouettes all grace us with their presence. And, FYI, bump up your cardio…you are going to need it to make it through these tests. (Just reading the PSG test was exhausting.)

You would think at my age counting to 4 three times would be a no-brainer, but, alas, I apparently cannot count and give Ike the correct aids for a flying change at the same time. That whole can you walk and chew gum at the same time scenario. Apparently I cannot. Hopefully with continued practice we will figure things out. (Truth be told, I am certain Ike could do it now if I was more proficient.)

On the upside, Ike is demonstrating his ability to sit on his hind end. We have found better medium and extended trots this year. Ike also gets a gold star for his canter zigzag and quarter pirouettes. He also continues to show what a big heart he has as he tries his best to learn and progress with me. Our path might be crooked and filled with potholes, but we are navigating the silver-tinged road together.