Myopics - ever ridden without vision correction? Is this "soft eyes"?
I had a somewhat amusing accident today, that maybe led to a eureka moment.
I have this ornamental plum tree by my front gate. It needs pruning, but in South Carolina we prune trees in January. So it's a little overgrown, and I went out to feed at six, in the dark. Not seeing any need to put in my contacts - what is there to see in the dark, right? - I managed to run my left eye right into one of the twigs on my plum tree. And lodged a piece of bark under my eyelid.
If y'all have never done this, it feels a lot like being stabbed in the eye with a darning needle every time you blink. I could.not.rinse it out. So off to the eye doctor I went - luckily DH was home to drive me. Dr. removed the piece of bark under a local anesthetic, but I couldn't put my contact in, and I don't have glasses.
So off I go to my riding lesson this afternoon with uncorrected vision. The world looked a lot like it was painted by one of those French impressionists. But I figured - what the heck, the horse can see, right? And I wasn't jumping,
Know what? My trainer said it was the best I've ever ridden, in almost a year of lessons! I was soft, I was relaxed, I was confident. Horse was happy and forward going. Trainer could not believe the difference! She's always said I have a tendency to hyper-focus and get "hard-eyed" as she calls it.
So when I told her what happened, she thought maybe my temporary myopia may have forced me to achieve the "soft eyes" Sally Swift wrote about in the first chapter of Centered Riding.
I'm the first to admit I've never been able to really understand what Ms. Swift meant by that term - so heck, maybe I did!:)
Has anyone else had a similar experience? Do you feel like you understand "soft eyes"? Ever ridden without being able to see much of anything? If so, please share!:)