Ugh! Things with Cricket did not go as well last night as I had hoped they would.
This is entirely my fault.
We started with a little liberty play in the arena and then I put a bareback pad, hackamore and neck string on to do a little riding. I wasn't on her long. She's in season and doesn't like to be ridden at all, let alone bareback. I was pleased with her willingness and opted not to take advantage of her good mood.
At liberty she was much more inclined to leave than she was the previous night. I couldn't figure it out at the time. During my post-play reflection, it dawned on me. Wednesday night I was playing with her. Last night I was testing her.
On Wednesday I was so incredibly pleased at everything she did. Even when she left, the pleasure of her returning completely over-shadowed the initial dismay of her leaving. I was excited how much she offered to me and was giddy as a school girl that I could once again play with my horse at liberty in the big arena.
Last night, everything was done with a critical eye. I kept thinking, "She has to do this or that for the audition and dammit, she can't leave like that and why won't she just do what she did before. This isn't good enough."
I have to STOP thinking that what she does isn't good enough. I cannot live in a place where I am critical of her. It is my leadership and love - or lack thereof - that gives her time and space to offer all that she is and all that she can do. If she does not offer what I know she has then my leadership has not created the space for her to feel safe and free.
I think, tonight, my plan is to play and to just love being with her.