I wanted to share my greatest moment of clarity with horses. One of those moments when all that training comes together (for me not the horse) I was taking reining classes which is SO much fun. It's like the dressage of western riding and you get to relax and have a loose rein. It was really a wonderful experience. I'd been in 4-H, Pony Club, Light Horse... plus in training for several years so it was all about heels down, chin up, get the horses head in the right position... blah blah. I was quite sick of it which is one of the reasons I was taking the class then and one of the reasons I want to get into endurance riding now. Anyway, this trainer would drive down every couple of weeks and give us classes. Even MY trainer would be in it cuz she'd never done much reining. So, reining is all about circles and lines. And smaller circles and bigger circles and lines and sliding stops... and it's my turn. Sahara will do a nice slow lope (canter) but she won't drop down into that rocking horse lope which is what we were looking for. I keep pulling her back and doing more circles and the trainer says drop your reins, sit back and ride it out. And so I do. And she surges forward rips around the arena for a minute. And then she starts to slow down. All I have to do is keep her in that gait. And she gets slower and when it's smooth enough to be able to sit back and nice and deep in the saddle I do and BOOM just what we were looking for. A nice, loose-reined rocking horse lope. It was one of the most wonderful moments. I was positively giddy. After that I saw things so much clearer.