This past Saturday a friend invited me to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in concert. I'm only familiar with their music as it is played on the radio during the holiday season. I didn't realize they tell a Christmas story with poetry and music. At one point the narrator spoke these words: We are all pursuing magic.
This struck a chord with me not only in my personal life but in my horsemanship. How beautiful, how simple. Pursuing Magic. This is what I seek in my journey and my relationship with Cricket. Those moments that transcend explanation; those moments when the ultimate prey animal seeks partnership with the ultimate predator. Magic.
I have begun my new program with Cricket. Despite the bitter cold and the arctic north wind, I braved the elements on New Year's Day to play with my pony. I started with some rapport by taking her to the field across from the barn for grazing time. I played with her on the 22' interspersing her grazing time with yo-yos, circles and sideways games. We are working on improving change of direction using the techniques Pat teaches in the new L3. I intended to stop with just our online but after feeding all the horses, Cricket was asking for more. I took her in the arena and we played at liberty. Her open area circle game is getting weaker - no sure why. I just concentrated on draw and stick to me. I was able to send her over a jump and she remained connected. I decided to get on and we did some riding, bareback and bridless, around the arena. I even asked her to trot and she was very soft and responsive. Not a bad way to start the new year.
Saturday was rushed because of the aforementioned concert. I prepped feed for later in the day and just spent some time asking Cricket to stretch for cookies. The hardest part of this is getting her not to mug me while I'm shifting positions to ask for a different stretch.
Sunday was just some on-line play. Again, I took her to the big field. This time, however, I let my ego and "you know this, we've done it before" get in the way. Her circle game was not so good. Worse was her yo-yo. I decided to reframe everything and find a way to end the session better than I started. I concentrated on her yo-yo game - asking her to go straight back and then come to me despite the tantalizing grass. I had to get pretty strong with her. I always started with a soft suggestion but I escalated to an intense phase 4 when she ignored me. She wouldn't tolerate this from an underling in her herd so I've decided not to tolerate it from her. We worked on this until she understood I meant business. Of course she lost her confidence a little so I made sure to play lots of friendly game and keep all emotion out of it.
Monday was a sick day. I need to make up my cards to keep track of each day off. I didn't go to work - just felt so cruddy. I took feed out to the barn and fed all the critters but that was as much energy as I could muster. The rest of the week is cold (at least for N. Alabama/S. Tennessee) so I may not do more than just hang with her and spend some friendly time.