The New Oxford American Dictionary‘s definition of gray matter is a bit different than mine.
Today, I confronted what I think to be my gray matter, the obscure use of aids, particularly leg and hand.
In my stadium lesson with Bobby today, I learned to make a distinction between half halts (to regain balance and tempo) and allowing forward energy. In an attempt to balance after fences without losing energy and impulsion, I tend to get busy with my upper body and hands. As a result, the message I’m trying to get across to my horse (balance and tempo) gets distorted, and I end up sending mixed messages. And the tug-of-war match begins.
Bobby helped me today to be deliberate and clear. Half halt and then soften hands, to allow forward, balanced energy. When I separated these requests for balance/tempo and forwardness, we jumped the best we have in a very long time.
The other gray matter I tackled today was that falling from the sky; it rained all day. That, by the way, is why there is no footage from the lesson today. The volunteer photographer, my mother, was much more comfortable in the heated truck by the ring. I don’t blame her!
Because it started to sleet this afternoon, Bobby cancelled my lesson with Willie, my mom’s young Hanoverian. Rain check! We’ll squeeze it in later, hopefully tomorrow.
Flat lesson with Julia scheduled tomorrow.