Recently I attended an Alfredo Hernandez passage/piaffe clinic. My pony Finn and I are training at 4th level/PSG and it seemed a good time to introduce a bit of piaffe. Not to mention I have always DREAMED of riding piaffe and I finally own a horse who maybe could do it. Let’s try it! So I signed up.
I asked my friend, who had been several times, what should I expect? What does he do? My friend is very no nonsense and an experienced horse woman whose horse is well on the road to doing piaffe and passage (yay!). She doesn’t mince words.
“First of all, he can’t remember your name so he calls everyone Princess or Gorgeous.”
I don’t mind that. I’m now at an age where it’s rather rare to be called gorgeous so I’ll take it when I can, even if it’s just because he can’t remember my name.
“And if you’re scared, don’t tell him, because he’ll just laugh at you. Just deal with your fear. Don’t let him see you cry, because that just makes him mad,”
she said, looking at me with a warning shake of her head.
Why would I cry?
“Well, a lot of these women have really big warmbloods that they’re kind of scared of already, and when they start training piaffe, the horse starts leaping around, rearing, or bucking, or backing up fast, and the women get terrified. Alfredo gets annoyed if you can’t just deal with it. It’s your job as the rider to deal with it, or you shouldn’t be there.”
Hmmm. True. But also making me a little nervous now. One of my riding goals is NOT-TO-FALL-OFF, and before you diehards scoff, when you get to a certain age, it’s a good goal to have. We don’t bounce like we used to. But the lure of Piaffe is strong, my trust in my pony is deep (most of the time), and so: off to the clinic! Did we piaffe? Read our next post to find out!