To say that I’m near sighted is an understatement. My vision is so bad that I always travel with at least one spare pair of glasses. I certainly couldn’t drive without them, and riding without them is challenging. Contact lenses? My eyes gave up on those years ago!
This has been a hard spring for people who wear glasses because it has been raining like crazy. And all of you who wear glasses know how hard it is to see out of them when they are covered with rain drops or steaming up. But, maybe there’s a silver lining to not being able to see.
A couple of weeks ago, after a hunt was canceled due to rain, I decided to meet some hunt friends and ride the territory (which happened to be the very picturesque trail system near Walden Pond). It wasn’t raining that hard until I pulled into the lot. Since many of the trails are in the woods, I thought, how wet could I get? After all, if we were hunting in Ireland, this small amount of rain would hardly count.
The answer was, soaked to the skin. After about 15 minutes I realized I couldn’t see a thing. It was one of those rare times when I could see better without my glasses. So I took them off and stowed them in my saddle bag. I reminded myself that Freedom can, presumably, see just fine and he was the one that had to pay attention to the terrain.
Riding without glasses is a bit like riding through an Impressionist painting: it’s all swirls of shapes and colors, soft with no hard edges. That was fine until we started jumping.
Jumping without being able to really see where you’re going is different. I’m used to driving. I like to see my spot coming into a fence. It makes me feel more confident. The only spot I was seeing WAS the fence. I certainly wasn’t able to make any adjustments coming into it.
Which isn’t such a bad thing. Since I couldn’t see the fence well enough to adjust my horse (or pick at him), I had to ride the canter. After all, the trick to getting a good spot is to pick up a good canter and not worry about the spot. I kept reminding myself that Freedom was the one jumping and he was locking onto the fences without my help. The more I trusted him, the better he went.
Maybe I should take my glasses off more often.
However, here’s something to consider for the future.