The “Light Aid” Disagreement

IMAG0631Madam—or in this case, the management—appeared at my door today to offer up a tart sermon on my departure from our training program. Not that I needed reminding, but I thought we had an informal schooling agreement not a Constitutional Amendment. However, I refrained from rolling my eyes and politely listened while she exercised her lips.

“The experienced dressage rider expects a certain reaction from her horse in response to light aids,” she explained with some gravity. “Because of his”—this meant me—“mental clarity and high standards, her horse supposedly understands what she wants.”

Well, for Pete’s sake, who said I didn’t understand what she wanted? A light aid is no more than a simple request—a rider courteously asking a horse to do something the horse might or might not feel like doing.

Frankly I know quite a bit about light aids. Most horses do. We just use our own playbook, and we use it primarily to train humans. So, a courteous nudge against a human’s shoulder illustrates a light aid that calls for an apple or a ginger snap. Then we have the limp aid. Limping always sparks lively critiques from our dear humans. Even those who don’t know a limp from a lump offer sage advice on limping.

And another thing, the management’s horse history mostly involved cow horses, meaning her knowledge of dressage hardly tops mine. Even dressage “speak” sounds like pig Latin to a horse. Good grief, the management and I once thought a “turn on the haunches” referred to a method of cooking pot roast. In fact it’s nothing more than an elaborate change of direction.

The more I think about it, the Management could some a few everyday light aids from yours truly. I could have offered her a little driving light aid last Thursday before the state trooper pulled her over and delivered a $125 citation. Then there was the Chicago editor who referred to me as the new “Mister Ed.” Now that could have benefited from my light aid marketing magic.

Anyhoo, just about the time Madam tied up the loose ends on her sermon, the Landlord came down the lane pushing her Hoover upright in my direction.

“Noah,” she intoned with fall house cleaning authority. “All this chit chat about light aids reminded me that I have one for you. How about giving this vacuum a go in your room, and then find a better place to hang this bridle?”



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3 thoughts on “The “Light Aid” Disagreement”

  1. Any relation to Mr. Ed? Okay, here we go (I may need a little help here. I’m going from memory. Honest. (Oh If you’re under 60 you may not know Mr. Ed…)
    “A horse is a horse of course of course/and no one can talk to a horse of course/unless of course the source of horse is the famous Mr. Ed.
    Just ask a question of of the horse/he’ll give you the answer that you endorse/you might see him on the golf course/the fabulous Mr. Ed.

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