My journey with Cricket has been a lot like trying to assemble a puzzle bought at a yard sale. The pieces are in a plastic bag and there's no guarantee that I even have all the pieces.
It's frustrating when I cannot figure out how to put things together but it's incredibly triumphant when the picture begins to come together.
Monday was one of those days when none of the pieces seemed to fit anymore. After a week of fabulosity, I had a challenging session with Cricket and I began to doubt everything.
The plan was more Touch It and Figure 8 and quickly moving on to riding. Cricket is really getting the Touch It. When I put that feel and thought into my body, she stood stock still while I moved out to the end of the 22'. We had a conversation that went something like this:
Me: Let's play Touch It.
Cricket: Okay, where would you like me to go?
Me: To the pedestal.
Cricket: Great! There might be cookies. Hey, there are no cookies! No worries, would you like me to do something besides put my nose on it?
Me: Sure. How 'bout two feet?
Cricket: Absolutely. Anything else?
Can you ask much more? We moved to the Figure 8 and she was very good. She's getting the pattern and starting to draw and redirect with less and less motion from me. We are about 2/3 of the way down the 22' most of the time.
Then we moved on to riding. At about the time I was mounting up, someone else came into the arena. I don't know what happened. His energy, my ego, the weather - I don't know. Cricket was extremely forward. To the point we were playing impulsion control games. I asked too much from her when she wasn't even listening to my "go and whoa" cues.
I stopped being pleased with her and was upset that she wasn't doing what I wanted her to do. I forgot to address the horse that showed up and instead kept asking her to be the horse she was on Saturday. I finally realized I wasn't being fair to her and I started asking her for little things I could reward. After some soft transitions I dismounted, told her how much I loved her and called it a day.
In the past, this would be the beginning of a long stretch of doing nothing with my horse. But I committed to "30 in 30" and I've made myself accountable on two public forums. So we'll carry on. I think the biggest beneficiary of this whole thing is going to be my emotional fitness.