Sunday, May. 19, 2024

Blogger Natalie Voss

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Last year was the first I became a member of the regional eventing association for the first time. I thought it would be a good opportunity to be more officially part of the local eventing community, and it just made sense to become eligible to earn year-end awards at shows I was already attending.

I recently finished a feature for the Chronicle’s print edition about Kerry Thomas, who’s a type of sports psychologist for horses. Thomas doesn’t train horses, but instead helps people understand more about how their horse processes their environment; are they better visual or auditory learners, for example?

Like any other behavior expert, I know of many people who swear by Thomas, and am aware there are people who doubt his methods. The truth is that much of his business starts because people want to understand what their horses are thinking.

I pulled out of the Kentucky Horse Park after our first combined test of the spring season with a nagging hole in the bottom of my stomach. A former jockey once told me that really analytical riders don’t necessarily make the best jockeys.

Halfway through a dressage lesson a few weeks back, I was struggling. My legs were killing me, I was huffing and puffing, and I could already tell that my right triceps were going to be useless until at least Tuesday.

This, in itself, is not that remarkable—I spend a lot of time struggling in dressage lessons, and I’m not sure my horse feels much better about them.

“Lengthen your lower leg! Wrap your legs around her!” my trainer said, for what had to feel like the 50th time.

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