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

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Reflection on the Friendly Game

My friend Clare made a comment about anxiety and her upcoming clinic with Carol Coppinger. My response was "the best cure for something that isn't going well is Friendly Game." And then it hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks.

This is my problem with Cricket.

So diving around the Internet and perusing the Savvy Club vault, I came across the following:
The Friendly Game #1
This game convinces your horse that you will not act like a predator and that you are friendly and can be trusted.
Hmm . . .

The principles of the Friendly Game are: Rhythm, Relaxation & Retreat. This means that you should use a nice, easy rhythm instead of sudden or irregular movements, that you should be relaxed and gently persist until your horse is relaxed; if your horse has trouble you 'retreat' which means . . . stop and wait until the horse is relaxed, etc. and then reapproach as the horse shows he's ready. [emphasis mine]
And finally

The Friendly Game is something you will use a lot. Any time you need him to settle down or know that he’s done well you will use the principles of rhythm, relaxation and retreat. That’s what the Friendly Game is all about.
And to this I say, Well, duh!

One of the things Carol mentioned during the clinic I audited this past weekend was that she is seeing more friendly game holes in L3 than anything else. It seems that as we advance and can do more, we tend to gloss over the need for increased friendly game.

So here I am wondering if this is the root of my issues with Cricket. When was the last time I told her I thought she was the best horse in the world? When was the last time I spent more time dwelling than doing? When is the last time I really considered her confidence? When was the last time I worked on the relationship?

Carol said, "putting the relationship first means winning the friendly game."

The nekkid truth hurts just a little.


Naturally Gaited said...



That is probably the first thing that we lose when we go direct-line (as in getting ready for a clinic!)..

I'll try to be sure to remember this over the next week or so.

Breathe!! It will go great. :-)

Michelle AKA arabhorselover1 said...

I really love this post, it is fabulous and back to basics. I hope yo uare having fun at the clinic! -Michelle http://naturalhorselover.blogspot.com/