Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. ~ Thomas Merton

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Rapport Ain't Just Handin' Out Cookies

So I've had this issue with Cricket bolting at liberty. Not in that right brain "outta here" way. But in the left brain, just for funsies, "look at what I can do" way. It baffles me.

A call to the Savvy Club Gold Hotline (I know, bellied up to the Kool-Aid) resulted in a fabulous chat with John Baar, head of the faculty at the Parelli Centers. That conversation added some savvy arrows to my quiver.

Last night I played with Cricket at liberty, in a round corral with the figure 8 pattern. I approached the session with the mentality of "if you leave, that's fine but I can still 'touch' you." Wow! What an amazing difference in our rapport. I've not felt that engaged with my horse in MONTHS!

What I realized was that rapport isn't just scratches and cookies and undemanding time. Rapport is being in sync, on the same wavelength. If I'm asking for something and Cricket is blowing me off, that isn't rapport. If I'm dictating everything and Cricket feels confused, unconfident or over-faced, that's not rapport. Regardless of the cookies.

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