Friday, July 20, 2012

soul soothing

Life continues to go.  I make a vow by the stars and moon to work with Inky every day and then the next day something makes it impossible and there it goes again.  I will I will I will.

Meantime, things do go in a flow.  I had a light couple of weeks riding at the barn because of various things.  I had a not-Pierre lesson.  And it seems there's a bit of perpetually trying to find my footing sorts of energy.  Riding lately, and it seems for quite some time now, has made me wonder if I'm really not so good as I think I am.  Nothing can make me feel as competent or as insecure as horses.  And it isn't in the audience.

Riding lately has been . . . challenging.  Like I'm an idiot.  Maybe not that bad.  I guess I would have hoped for and frankly expected more progress in this amount of time.  I mean, I can always find something to be insecure about.

But every now and again there is a day.  Like friendly game with Jin that I wrote about before.  Which has continued by the way.  Today was such a day.  I'd heard Linda Parelli saying something on some video about being able to just move very slowly with introverts and I moved more slowly today, despite not having my line and just doing a bit of "on line" with the bridle reins and dressage whip.  We've worked on getting two front feet on the pedestal and she's been getting more willing and consistent with that but today I just approached with her to the pedestal and offered and she got up, both feet.

So riding then we went sort of passenger although I don't think I yet have the full concept of passenger lesson to Parelli but anyway, I let her go where she wanted but began expressing to her, I'd rather go down there and when she didn't, that was fine, next round let her know again, that's where I'd like to go, until I went relaxed rein (I think that's what they call it) and asked her to follow the rail which did take some corrections on the "scary end" then changed direction and follow rail more.  All this time mostly trotting, very forward, a little fast, but burning off that energy she has and getting down to business.  Changed follow the rail to cloverleaf and doing less and less "correcting", changing direction every so often, in cloverleaf periodically stopping in the middle sweet spot to rest.  Then using, hmmm, what did they call that, riding to the corners, some of that, to get a little more stopping in.

And then when she seemed really ready, I took up a bit of contact, remembering following hands and no leg (as per notPierre lesson) and asked for bend and she rounded beautifully, mostly, and what resistance she had wasn't as big as it had been, and asked for stretch, and just repeated that at walk for awhile, then asked for transitions to trot and just did bend, round, no leg, and then would change direction across diagonal with lengthening, then would sometimes lengthen on long side, and just contact, stretch, shorten, lengthen, round through bendbendbend.

She actually tried to get pissy once.  This has been a "thing" with her.  And she got a bit of a firm "no" at that point, almost a paddling, and she honestly didn't try again but went very very well.  That was perhaps my "non-Parelli" moment, but at the same time, sometimes it is, umm, no.

Oh, I did forget to mention that I mounted at the barn and rode to the arena, which we often do with other horses but almost never do by ourselves.  Today was by ourselves.  We went up into the field just a bit and she wanted to go so I let her and she cantered, left lead (right is her more willing side in the arena), easily if only about 8 strides.  But with a rider.  She once did a nice quiet right lead canter in the arena but only once honestly.  Usually she resists and objects.  So I thought this was a nice opportunity to do it just because she wanted to.  However, at that point she was a bit "up" so I dismounted and we went on to the arena where we did the rest of the above.

After riding, we left out the back gate of the arena (where we try to enter and exit since the front gate is the sweet spot) and walked around outside and she wasn't scared at all, and we went all the way up into the field by ourselves and she was a little tense near the top but turned and walked down calmly, and walked on over to the barn, finished our thing.  She opens and closes that back gate rather well.

It was truly exceptional.  Now to ride Blaze tonight.  Now to get a good ride in on C.  Ah, there's that straight line thinking self coming in there!  LOL!


clairesgarden said...

a passenger lesson is just that.... you can choose the pace, if she breaks it you can then ask her to pick it up again. direction is entirely up to the horse. even if than means a three yard circle at the gate for the entire time....
is your horse emotinally fit enought to travell the whole arena? Abbey is not, hence the little circles. are you emotionally fit enought to allow your horse to express itself ??
also passenger lessons was a big part of the earlier Parelli programme and is not used so much now as far as I can make out, I did a lot of it with Quantum Savvy and after 2 years still couldn't get all the way round that particluar arena.... her choice.

clairesgarden said...

you might have to sign in for this, not sure

CG said...

I haven't clicked on the link yet but yeah, that's pretty much what I was thinking . . . but I did do a little suggesting to see what she could do. We did mostly figure 8's on the gate side of the arena, walk then trot. My interpretation was that one is allowing the horse to express itself but that it's still a conversation. Also a sort of checking in . . . like that one checks flexion most times, or checks that one has a hind quarter yield, etc.

I think passenger might have been difficult because of where they say to put your hands . . . I can do that without getting my butt out of place but I haven't seen many other people do it without being seriously out of balance -- because they want to put pressure on their hands, weight from shoulders, instead of just letting the hands rest of the withers.

I've got one right now who is having humongous issues with circle game. No other game does he have issues with. And he did do circle ok. It is always interesting.