Woody Allen says, “I am at two with nature.” That pretty much describes how I feel about technology. Embracing the tech world for me is like enjoying a violent allergy attack.
Having said that, no one is choreographing dressage freestyles with 8 track tapes anymore, and I can nearly use my MP3 player; anything is possible. It’s time for me to put a positive frame around it. Maybe keeping up with technology is a way to ward off dementia in my even-older age, kind of like doing a hundred crossword puzzles at once.
I took a breath, unclenched my jaw, and ordered an android phone. It arrived a few days later, and… and…I couldn’t get it out of the box. Gasp. Translating tech for dressage queens; is there an app for that?
Okay, if you get bucked off, you have to climb right back on. I took a breath and unclenched my jaw again. I powered the android up and made a commitment. I will not be satisfied with intro level tests, I am going up the levels until I can piaffe this phone.
Start with the basics- use body language to join up. I lowered my eyes, slouched a bit and dragged my finger across the screen. Light, steady contact (of course) and soon I was transitioning from app to app, relaxed and forward. My sternum lifted and my heels dropped lower. I put a live wallpaper on my screen and now the sunset on my phone is almost as nice as the one on my prairie.
A: Enter Working Trot– I began to hum ‘The Old Gray Mare’ with a steely glint in my eye. GPS, Klimpke videos, constellation ID’s during the night walk-thru, Google-ing feed supplement comparisons, filming students during lessons. This technology really is an aid.
Maybe a smart phone is like spurs or a whip- as cruel or kind as the rider who uses them.
My favorite app? Glad you asked. I have a writing place on my phone. And I am not all thumbs- once you get to second level, you can school your swype. Fluid lines with bend, release those elbows- it works! You have to take your gloves off, but swype is like typing at the extended trot.
I confess, I did initially lose some forward with the camera in my phone. I got too much in my head. I broke gait, but I recovered. Sure, my horse was asleep by then, but I got the picture and managed to land it on the centerline of my dressage blog at X, halt, salute.
(Photo: Author with technology-bored horse.)