Damn, I just put another Thing I Would Love To Do on my list.
I am such a riding instructor. Gawd. Everything is a critique now. I can hardly watch movies or shows that involve horses. But hey - pleasantly impressed! She rides with soft hands - the reins look snug in these pictures, but the horse wasn't resisting or throwing his head. I might have moved her foot forward a tiny bit, but that's just picky. This is working. The horse looks alert and interested but not scared or anxious. She's sitting up nice and straight and her heels are down. In the video, she sat the jog quietly, balanced and soft. Nice!
Best of all, she is following Heidi's Most Important Rule of Riding: SMILE!
Why does this make me so happy? It's not like she's a friend of mine. But I have three of her albums, and once found myself standing about five feet away from her, much to my surprise (I love showbiz), and I have really been cheering for her to have a good life and regain her beautiful voice. So this is a feel-good story.
But also, I love seeing anybody riding nicely. I don't like to see a horse's mouth gaping open trying to get away from a yank on the bit, or a rider getting mad and taking it out on the horse, when usually doing less works better. Shania is a pretty nice rider. Yay!!!
She admitted in the W5 interview that she didn't know this horse very well, and wasn't sure how he'd react to the crowd and noise and activity. She debated how high she should raise her hand to wave at people. I thought, yep, she knows horses. Things turned out fine. In the video, the horse stumbled just slightly at the jog when they started off, but she just relaxed into it, recovered, and got on with it. I don't think anybody else in the room noticed that until I skipped it back and watched it again. I think more and more that's an important part of riding, especially since I've been getting back the guts to take my horses out of the riding ring: don't make little things into problems.
So now, here's where I just drop all my perfectionist perfeshnul silliness and go for the real silliness.
That horse is like, Barbie's Dream Horse kind of pretty.
I love what she's wearing.
That's a cool bit.
I forgot how much I liked riding in parades.
OMG she has... such... awesome hair.