Clinic Report: Sally Cousins, 1/17/16

This post is super late, I'm aware. Part of it was um editing videos sucks and I hate doing it but I like it being done so there you have it. But the real part is I have 4 partially written drafts of this entry because I had no idea what I wanted to say, and I take everything really seriously. Too seriously, in fact. So I finally wrote this and it's a bit of a word dump but there you have it. Enjoy!


It's amazing to me that even after almost twenty five years of riding, I still need to pay someone to tell me to put my heels down.

But apparently I do.

One of my coworkers was at my desk when I was packing my things up at the end of the day. She asked what I was doing after work and I said "I have a riding lesson," without thinking. And she responded, "But haven't you been doing this forever? I thought you'd be a pro by now."

Not quite yet.
That thought didn't depress me. It might have when I was a teenager, but we've already determined teenage Megan was an ass. I told her in this sport, you never ever stop learning and internally I added that I wouldn't have it any other way. How boring would it be if I mastered this sport in twenty five years? I'd be done with it and moved on to something else. But what I love about riding is it's this insatiable beast that no matter how many horses a day you ride, or how many people you teach or how many years you've been toiling at it there's always something new out there.

Or you just have to relearn the same thing over and over, like keeping your heels down.

Sally loved Runkle (of course, who doesn't). But what she immediately honed in on was me. Having a baby horse has been great for my knowledge but my own riding has suffered. I'm a little more defensive and incorrect than I used to be, which I think is just the nature of babies.

So lately I've been working on rudimentary things like keeping my lower leg back on the flat and my heels down when I jump. He's got quite a kick on the ground and Sally immediately saw the potential for disaster.

Which I demonstrated perfectly when we had a miscommunication to a jump and I took a graceful swan dive off his back when he stopped. At like, the world's tiniest vertical.

I was mortified. Which brought me to another important point that I need to remember: to stop taking myself so goddamn seriously. In all my fervor to accomplish my goals I forgot my every day goal. Love my pony and be happy. I have it written right here! On the internet! Which is pretty much a binding contract. I get caught up in goals and trying to impress people I forget that the only person who's opinion matters is me (and Runkle's, of course. Runkle is king).

So I don't want to impress people with how cute he is, and what a nice jumper he is. I want people to be impressed by the size of the smile on my face and how well we get on. It started last night when I was grooming him and he was so in love with being curried that when I paused to clean my brush or talk to someone he would inch closer so his shoulder was right under the curry comb and then twist his head to look at me.

He's beautiful and cute and when I get drunk god forbid one of my coworkers asks me about him at happy hour because I launch into a diatribe about how he's the love of my life and I want to drive through a blizzard just to smoosh his little nose and provide scratches.

Not what I was expecting to get from the clinic. But it was well, well worth the money. Thanks Sally for a wonderful ride, and hopefully I'll see more of her when she's migrated back north for the summer! See below for a video of him doing a couple courses, including his VERY FIRST chevron and our first fall as a couple ;)

Sorry it's portrait, I'm just dumping this and I might post
a better version that's edited later. Or, you know. Not.


  1. "I want people to be impressed by the size of the smile on my face and how well we get on" <-- i LOVE this. love. what a great takeaway from the ride!! also Runkle looks adorable in the video - like he's really thinking and learning through the whole thing. i seriously hope to ride with Sally one of these days too....

    1. he's the most genuine hearted horse I've ever ridden. he just really wants to do his best! <3

      sallys great, ive always really really enjoyed riding with her. shes an absolutely brilliant cross country rider (well, and everything else as well!)


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