It was early, cold, and PJ hadn’t been out yet when I showed up for my lesson. At least PJ wasn’t in slug mode. After getting PJ moving (not an easy task), we got down to business.
Barbara kept us on a 20-meter circle, not an oval, not a circle with straight sides, but a proper 20-meter circle. That meant touching the four points of the circle and keeping an even bend. To do that, I had to have PJ moving off my inside leg into my outside rein. And as a catch-22, having an accurate circle helped PJ move off my inside leg to my outside rein. And all this while keeping PJ moving. Up until today I had thought that I had always been doing a correct 20-meter circle, with proper bend, into contact, and moving off my leg, but this level of pickiness (for lack of a better word) proved otherwise.
We never got it perfectly. I firmly believe that being able to do what we were trying to do is what separates those who stay at training level forever (or fake first) and those who have the ability to move up the levels for real. Who knew that doing something as simple as a 20-meter circle could be so difficult.