Monday, February 29, 2016

The Mare by Mary Gaitskill Part 2

 So I wrote this big long review of The Mare by Mary Gaitskill. God love you if you got through it :-).

The horse-i-ness of the novel is pretty realistic, though there are sections I chose to overlook.  The instructor lessons, for example,  are unlike any lessons I have ever had.

But I got something far more important from getting inside Velvet's head. Velvet had a real feel for horses, and a connection, and it translated into her riding. Thinking about Velvet I can look at where my own riding is lacking.

In my high school years, my riding instructors seemed to focus on "making the horse do" something. Maybe that is all I chose to hear, I don't know.

Velvet seemed to naturally know the proper way -- to make the horse WANT to do something.  She writes about jumping a mare Tina:
I put my leg on Tina, made her feel me, counting my strides, rushed seven, then slow seven. I sat back and controlled my release, and she took them easy, three in a row; I could feel her happiness like I can smell perfume...
What a gift.

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