Saturday 8 September 2012

Breaking horses is easy. Breaking bad habits... now that is hard work

Then, one day, something strange happened.  Strange, wonderful - and most of all, exhilarating. 

A ruggedly handsome vampire pirate with amazing abs strode confidently towards me.  My lip trembled softly as he gently took my hand in his own strong, long fingered grasp. I noticed his golden curls blowing gently in the whorls of swirling arena dirt.  I breathlessly asked him his name.

"I ahm Herr Christian Greyenhoff.  I have heard of your struggles, and ahm ere to whisk you ahway to Hogwarts Haute Ecole of Drraaasage". 

I felt a warm moistness spreading between my thighs.  (I guess that is to be expected when riding bareback on a sweaty horse).  

"Brav, Herr Greyenhoff.....Brav"

Oh.. wait a minute. I am in the wrong blog, aren't I.  That is the one I am writing to actually make money.  Sorry about that.

Where was I.  Oh yes.  Hunter Deprogramming lessons on Swiffer.

Really, there wasn't all that much work to be done.  I only had a few areas of weakness that needed addressing... my seat, of course, as well as my arms, torso and legs.  Maybe some fine tuning on my hands, feet, fingers, and head and eyes (which still insisted on swiveling around to look for the next jump, instead of staring intently down at the neck of my horse, oblivious to any and all people, events, explosions which may be in our vicinity, as is de rigeur for shitty beginner dressage riders).

There is a lot of psychology stuff out there on how long it takes to break bad habits.  Some people say it takes 90 days.  Others - 3 months.  To this, I say - HA!!!  IF ONLY.

My opinion is that you may be able to beat a bad habit into submission for some period of time, but really they are like bad breath.  They sneak up on you and return without you even knowing, until the day people recoil in horror when they are in your presence.  Oh my god, how can she not notice how BAD that is!  Maybe they offer you gum.  (in the case of bad breath - the reason is obvious.  If you are riding, it might be some desperate and likely totally in vain attempt to help you to stick your ass in the fucking saddle like you have been told to do approximately 5,000,000 times).

I think I mentioned earlier that I am taking golf lessons.  I go to this high tech indoor golf centre, where they rig you up in a harness with a long wire hanging out of your back like you are an Avatar  creature, only less tall, sexy and blue.  Then, they take pictures of your golf swing while the Avatar harness measures every pathetic turn and angle of your body.  Next, to make things really sad, they show you pictures of yourself beside Tiger Woods, or some other person who can actually golf.  Lastly, they put them all online for you, so any time you want to feel bad about your golf game, you can peruse pictures of your hunchy twisted self next to Michelle Wie's willowy elegance on demand.

After about my second lesson, my instructor said to me "Curmudgeon, I don't want you to get discouraged about the fact that I have to keep reminding you to stop (insert bad habit here.  I can't actually remember what it is he was telling me to stop doing.  Which indicates how well I absorbed the lesson, and really goes to prove the point I am about to make)"

"Sometimes it takes several lessons of being reminded before you are able to break a bad habit" he said gently.  (No, no.  He is not a vampire pirate and his curls were not swirling above the square of astroturf.  Stay on track, would you?).

Really.  You don't say.  It actually made me feel very sorry for the guy.  Does he actually have to work with people who think you CAN change a habit and become a superstar in a few lessons?  Then, I thought about his likely clientele... blowhard businessmen, who live in some cloud of disillusionment and think everything they do is just fricking awesome (I am very jealous of these people, and wish I could find one of these clouds myself).  The ones who smoke cigars and laugh loudly on the golf course, while hitting slices deep into the forest on the side of the fairway, taking a mulligan, 3-putting, then marking down 4 for par on the scorecard.

Uhh, yah. I guess he probably does.

I told him not to worry, I wasn't yet discouraged.  Little does he know he is talking to a woman who has spent about $50,000 in lessons, and still can't keep her ass in the saddle during a flying change.  I realize he is not a miracle worker.  And I am ok with that.

I thought about telling him this to make him feel better, but then - maybe it wouldn't.  Maybe it would just make him break into tears and run from the building when faced with the gravity of the situation that he faces over the next six months.  Sometimes no news is good news.
To close this week... I wanted to thank reader Lauren for designing the new header you see on the blog.  She couldn't stand seeing that volunteer wearing shorts at a dressage show anymore, and took it into her own hands to create something less offensive to the eyes.  Thanks Lauren!

And If you want to see a bigger version of the drawing I am working on - look for it on my facebook page!


  1. I'm totally with you - we can "enjoy" dressage together! 20 years of hunter riding does not a speedy dressage rider make:

  2. I liked the photo version (what's wrong with shorts? ;) but agree the human was distracting. What amount of photoshop would it have taken to eradicate the offending shirt wearer?

  3. Oh that were I that mentioned the vampire necessity on the other blog! LOL Personally I am on a cloud at times... A quick vid zoomed in on my jiggly parts and my horses eyeball all WTF looking just fixes that lil problem right up!

  4. I never noticed the shorts haha! Now I feel as if I miss them, sign. :o)

  5. I am seriously considering nominating my trainer for sainthood. I wasn't even a hunter/jumper that long. Far less time then I've ridden dressage. I may as well just play a sound track of someone saying "Sit Back!" over and over.

  6. Not only are shorts offensive but have you read the new rules Equine Canada is proposing? Readers are also not allowed to wear tank tops anymore. Honestly, who cares!

    1. They better not have banned pube barettes. That will totally piss me off.

  7. Hey, love the new look! And I hope the new drawing keeps coming along.