Question of the day.

What’s a hundred times harder than it looks?

My answer:

Perhaps not exactly a hundred times, but one thing that jumps to my mind right away is horse riding. People who have never done it or just sat on the horse while someone else led it, or rode purely hippotherapeutically, often have no idea and are like “Well, you just sit on the horse, what’s difficult about that?” 😀 I’ve even managed to come across a person who thinks it isn’t a legit sport. Apparently the same applies to ballet, it looks like it’s an effortless thing and it’s supposed to look like that, but it’s absolutely not. And while I have no idea about ballet, I can tell you that there is a lot more to horse riding than sitting. You’re supposed to move as fluidly and smoothly as possible not only because it looks better, but also because you don’t want to screw your horse, or get an injury yourself, and it’s simply more effective in achieving the effects you want. So, for example, there’s a technique called rising trot, where you rise in the saddle every time the horse’s outside front leg moves forward as he’s trotting. This is because doing so is way easier on the horse’s back than sitting trot, especially when you trot for longer periods and/or can’t sit the trot very well yet and bounce a lot or something. Except it isn’t really rising. A lot of people, including myself, do that mistake at the beginning where you rise vertically, almost as high as possible, but that’s not how it should be, because it’s neither good on your muscles, nor the horse’s back either, and if the horse has a really powerful trot you can end up bouncing quite a lot still. What you should do instead is rise forwards. You move your upper body forwards, open your hips and swing them forwards, and straighten up your knees in the stirrups while keeping your heals down. I don’t know if I explained that well enough but oh well, I don’t know how to explain things like that and I’m sure you can check it out yourself in case you’re curious. My instructor says it shouldn’t even be very visible that you’re rising or anything, it should be very smooth. So uninitiated people looking from a distance like my Mum think you’re just sitting on horseback and relaxing while your thigh muscles get all wobbly after half an hour’s practice of this “sitting”. 😀 And you have to remember about rising and falling to the right leg, so you have to be synced with your horse, and, probably the most difficult thing for me, you obviously have to keep your balance and have everything coordinated properly. Now I can do it quite well (or could when I was riding the last time, I haven’t ridden in over a year now as you may remember) and even though it can seem like more hassle, once I learned to do it properly I found it more comfortable for my own muscles to rise to the trot than sit it, especially on my first horse –
Ɓoƛ – who was a very big and sturdy horse and had a really heavy trot, with Rudy I don’t really mind either way because, as my instructor says it, his trot is so soft that you could sit it while sipping on a coffee at the same time, and it makes rise trotting very easy too. Nevertheless, it took me ages to figure the thing out and learn to do it well. There are also more such examples in horse riding where the thing looks not only really great but also totally effortless but needs quite a lot of effort and getting along between the horse and the rider.

What’s such thing in your opinion? 🙂