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

Monday, July 13, 2009

Experimentation and Reevaluation

This picture was taken at the spring clinic with Kelly Sigler, 3* Licensed Parelli Instructor. Kelly didn't bring any of her own horses so I offered Cricket for the riding portion of the Advanced L2 clinic. Pictured with Kelly and Cricket is Beau, the rescue horse from the Franklin, TN Parelli Celebration.

Cricket was an awesome demo horse for the clinic participants. Everything Kelly asked of her, Cricket did. She got a little ticky at one point but Kelly was able to manage her and Cricket settled right down, accepting Kelly's leadership and direction.

I'm in a constant connumdrum with Cricket. I know she is too much horse for me. I've know this for a very long time. But I just cannot seem to part with her. It's been suggested, by several instructors, that I ride a different horse and maybe find someone to ride Cricket to help us through our sticky spots.

I've tried riding other horses. I don't enjoy it. My most recent experiment was riding a nice 25 yr old "been there, done that" mare. She's a sweet old girl who tolerates just about anything. I rode her last week and it was awful. I didn't feel like I had any real communication with her. I didn't enjoy the way she moved. Almost as soon as I was mounted up, I wanted to get off. I think I trotted her two laps around the round pen and dismounted. She didn't do anything wrong - she just didn't feel right.

So I've come to the decision that Cricket and I are just going to have to muddle our way through our issues. I have a young girl at the barn who may start riding Cricket - under the direction of a fellow PNH student and riding instructor. The young girl wants to jump and she's a secure and confident rider. I think she might be a good choice for giving Cricket some experience taking a rider over fences. It's not ideal, but then again nothing in my journey with Cricket has been even close to ideal.

As I've been mulling over the situation, I think I've finally figured out exactly what I need to do. I'm just not sure how to get there. I need Cricket to become willingly obedient. In order to feel safe and to build my confidence, I need my mare to be obedient to my requests. Not robotic, certainly not tuned out - but definately obedient. Now, the quest becomes how do you cause a supremely self-confident, LB mare to become obedient?

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