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

Monday, May 17, 2010

At the Crossroads

I have come to an in between space with Cricket. I feel I am at a crossroads with no sure idea of the direction I should take.

It's as if I'm looking through a prism or a kaleidoscope and a subtle shift to the right or left; a turn of the hand and the entire picture changes. In one moment Cricket is the horse of my dreams and in the blink of an eye she seems to bring nothing but frustration.

How to move out of the in between? What is the in between? It is the clash of my dream with my reality. So where do I find harmony and balance? How do I bring the two in line with each other? Truthfully, I'm not sure.

I have come to feel, quite strongly, that part of the answer lies in ending my levels journey with Cricket. I'm not sure exactly what that means but I feel, very strongly, that I can no longer pursue my green string with my dun mare.

So here is Bleu. My potential new partner. I don't know if this is part of the answer or just adding another project/problem.

She is far from perfect. She has little or no formal schooling and no real exposure to Parelli. She has been trail ridden her whole life. She has beautiful movement and an amazing temperament.

I am bringing her to the barn for a trial period. What I like about her is her willingness to follow; her desire for leadership. Her nature is sweet and compliant and she is very low on the impulsion scale. She is solid and steady on the trails. She has beautiful movement and smooth gaits. What gives me pause is her lack of education. Am I considering a leap from the proverbial frying pan into the proverbial fire?

If this doesn't work out, where does that leave me? Honestly, I just don't know.


Eden said...

those moments of uncertain ness will occur a lot in your horsemanship journey. I just want to thank you for allowing your blog to reflect the good times and the not so good times in your horsemanship journey. it is nice that you paint a realistic picture.
I'd just like to throw this out there. I was in the exact same position as you two years ago. My mare was not working and I acquired another horse: Woody. He and I began our Parelli journey and of course, there were some bumps. I got to a point where I was questioning myself and my horsemanship because things just weren't working. I had no clue why... I was following the dang program! Sometimes its best to ditch the program, even just temporarily, and let the horse be your teacher. Just some food for thought. I would also encourage you to check out Harry Whitney. There are many great horsemen out there, and he is just one of them, but man did he help me get out of my slump and help me work toward my dreams.
just read a bit, and try to be open to everything. Take what you need, leave the rest. But thank you for being so open in your blog, I admire you and your horsemanship. You are truly dedicated.

Lisa said...

Thanks for your supportive and positive comments.

I love the Parelli program very much. What I accomplished with my TB in the short time I had him is nothing short of miraculous. What I've done with Cricket - both of us very, very green when we started - is also rather amazing. And everything, really, was done through the program.

But I've come to a place where the program is not helping me get where I need to be with Cricket. To continue with her means to end my "official" levels journey - something I started nearly 8 years ago. To continue on that journey means finding a new path.

While I don't always agree with how Parelli chooses to accomplish something, I am totally married to the principles and goals of PNH. It is the guide of my horsemanship and anything that violates the 8 principles is suspect, in my mind.

I love my Principessa and I want what's best for her. Which, unfortunately, isn't what's best for me. Right now. If having a second horse doesn't work out (right now) then I'll figure out what to do next.

I've not really studied anything but Parelli. I dabbled in some natural dressage with Mark Russell but it lacked what I needed at the time. If the $$ is there, I'll continue taking Centered Riding lessons. Thanks for the link to Harry Whitney, I'll definately check it out.

Regardless, this year marks the end of my "dedicated" study of PNH. I have a clinic in the fall and it will be my last. I may surrender my Gold Membership as well - we'll just have to see. It's time to take what I've learned and just have some fun. Of course I'd love to have that green string poking out of my pocket - but that will come when I'm ready. And when my horse is ready. Afterall, the "tasks" flow from the savvy but do not, themselves, indicate savvy. If that makes sense.

~ Lisa

Tina said...

Good luck. Perhaps stepping back from the intensity of the program will help you see the forest again. I can totally feel where you're coming from. I'm curious to see where your path leads you - and Cricket, and Bleu. Bleu is lovely! I wouldn't worry about her lack of education...you know enough to teach her what she needs to know. I just hope you aren't giving up on Cricket entirely!

And don't worry about the fire...just try to get a good tan!

Naturally Gaited said...

You are where you need to be right now, Lisa. Just take your "next right step" and then re-evaluate with your new found perspective. Shampoo, rinse, repeat!

I'm finally accepting that I can't project where any course of action will lead me, beyond the next step or so. I think that they call it the Uncertainty Principle.

I keep hearing about folks who let go of their focus on the Levels ladder, only to discover that they have lept ahead by ending their direct line thinking and focusing on the quality of relationship.

I've considered this myself and come to the conclusion that if Guinness and I had (hypothetically) reached our limit - with him so affectionate with me and able to be calmly trail ridden at a walk and to trailer load - this would be enough. It is a place that in 7 years, I haven't yet reached with my 18 year old horse Smokey. I am well pleased. MY needs are being met, as well as his.

Keep on Truckin' :-)

Lisa said...

Don't get me wrong - I'm still going to "do Parelli" with Cricket and with Bleu. I can never really "give-up" Parelli - it's informed my development as a horseman.

I just think there comes a point when you need to stop trying and just start doing. That's where I am. I know what I need to know and now I have the chance - if things workout with Bleu - to really start applying and learning.

I don't think I could ever give up on Cricket. That mare has taught me so much. But now I need to change my expectations with her. And to really advance, I need to get my skills to a new level so I have more to offer her. Which should, in turn, cause her to offer me more.

We shall see how it goes.