Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. ~ Thomas Merton
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Light as a Feather
Despite all I have to do to get ready for camp, I squeezed in a little time to ride last night.
I'm introducing new feeders to Bleu and Cricket and it's taking some time to rework the routine and figure out how much to feed and how to incorporate their supplements. Last night I decided to feed Bleu and, while she was eating, monkey about with Cricket.
In her stall, at liberty (while Bleu and Dillon were eating), I put my bareback pad on and then slipped the halter on. I grabbed a CS as we entered the arena. Our warm-up consisted of 2 HQ yields, 2 FQ yields, 2 back-ups and handful of circles in each direction, a little at the walk and a little at the trot.
I tied the 12' into reins and got on. And I had one of the best rides.
Cricket was amazing. She was soft in her trot and so responsive to my focus and leg. I used the rein - light contact through the weight of the rein/snap - to shape her a little. We had beautiful turns, relaxed forward and just general lightness.
She got a little forward and Ed helped me use some lateral work to soften and slow her. It took me out of my comfort zone - allowing her to be forward and shaping it rather than shutting her down. On the curves, I pushed her ribs so she floated out on the curve, taking her inside hind and stepping deeper. I could really feel her power up from the back but at the same time, she took that energy over her back and softened through her neck.
Almost all of our "work" was at the trot. I don't usually trot turns bareback. But last night, I just let go. And it was fun. I was relaxed; Cricket was relaxed.
Standing still, I did some isolation yields, mainly the HQ, and with no input from me (i.e. totally slack rein) she responded with no forward motion.
I am so pleased with Cricket and with myself. It's time I stopped being so critical - of myself, of Cricket of everything.