My sweet Cricket has gone from free and forward to balking and bucking. Again.
I thought we were past all that but apparently we are not.
It seems the journey is not a straight line, moving steadily forward from point to point. Seems it's rather more like a spiral. At it's best, it's an upward spiral. We revisit the same problems but maybe they are a little less intense, a little less severe. But we never move fully away from them.
I have to remember the idea of an upward spiral and not get stuck in the rut of an endless circle.
I rode again last night. It started really good, slowly devolved and ended okay. During the canter, Cricket threw in a pretty good buck-up that landed me on her neck. She balked a lot. She nearly pitched a fit near the gate. I got mad at least once, slapping her on the shoulder when she rammed my knee into the gate.
Time for some reflection . . . .
- I have the feeling I'm not offering her enough dwell time. I think maybe I've gotten caught up in how much progress we've made and I've forgotten exactly how we made that progress.
- Am I inadvertently setting her up for failure? Am I being fully present to what she needs? Probably not. I'm feeling very selfish in my horsemanship right now - I want to work on me. I want a horse that allows me to work on me. Is the confusion I feel transmitting to Cricket? If I don't know what I want, how the hell is she supposed to know what I want?
- Could this be, at least in part, nutritionally based? I'm a huge believer in the power of nutrition to heal. I've seen it in Cricket with her headshaking and my friend Wendy's mare with her extreme hormonal issues. I need to explore some different avenues and see what I can find.