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

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 11-17: Trying to Catch Up

I promise I've been doing more than I've been writing about. Honest.

The only two days, not counting my official week off, in which I did nothing with the horses was Day 14 and Day 16. Sunday I just didn't fee like it. Tuesday I was at work until after 11pm.

The time is all mashing together and I've slept since all this happened and each day I get older and it feels as if my memory gets squishier.

I've been trying to focus on short, provocative sessions with Cricket. We've been playing with the F8 pattern since my return from the Columbus Parelli Across America event. I cannot say the success has been phenomenal. In fact, session three seemed to take a few steps backwards. Not too worried, however. It's light years better than it has been. Maybe after this seven day program I'll learn another key and the next time we pick it up, it will be even better.

On the days I didn't play with her, I've tried to spend some rapport time with Cricket. Her new ritual is to find me after I've opened all the gates to turn out all the horses and hang back for some scratchy time. I love this part of my day. I love seeing that she needs me for something.

I've been playing more with Bleu, working to build our relationship and partnership. Overall, I believe she's beginning to see me as more of a leader. She seems less reluctant to exit her stall and enter the arena. She seems less concerned about leaving the herd.

I took her on a trail walk with the barn owner. She did great until she realized just how far away we were. I'm sure we inadvertently crashed through a threshold or two. But I'm not wholly convinced Bleu knows how to honor her own thresholds so that's now on our "to do" list. I played with her until her focus came back to me and we headed back tot he barn with enthusiasm but relative calm.

A day or two later, I took her out again. With strange horses and closer to dusk. She hit a major threshold not too far from the barn. We worked it out, taking the time it took, and when she was calm and interested in grazing, I turned her around and took her right back to the barn.

We've been playing some in the arena - balance on the circle, sideways and feet on obstacles. She's become a champ with the tarp and we're working out the pedestal. I think I need to figure out how to get my bridges moved into the arena so we can start with something a little easier.

The other day she offered a jump and then I sent her over a single down barrel in the arena and she sailed right over. She's such a good and obedient girl!

Yesterday it was just too damn hot to do anything. It's been dry (as in no rain) but wickedly humid here. Today our temps, with the heat index, should top out around 105. So when I went out yesterday, I just walked both horses down to the other barn to hose them off and cool them down. I let them both graze while I just watched. They are so different. Bleu grazed the same 20' area while Cricket blazed a trail for the back of the paddock.

As I prepped feed, Bleu heeded the "call of the feed cans" and brought herself back to the barn. I had to fetch Ms. Independent - she knows she's going to get fed so why bother coming in when she knows I'll go get her. The nice thing, despite being on lush grass, when I called to her, she picked up her head and came to me. At a walk, but at least an enthusiastic walk.

Don't know how much I'll do this weekend. With the predicted highs, it's just not safe to over-exert the horses or myself. Who's stupid idea was it to do a 30 day program in the middle of summer?

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