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

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pleased as Punch

I went out and played with both horses this evening.  I had a simple plan. I was bound and determined to be pleased.

I decided it was time to do something, anything to get out of the horsemanship slump. 

Since I've been remarkably unsuccessful having a plan of my own, I decided to take a different tack.  I took my on-line and freestyle patterns maps and taped them to the inside of the tack room door.  Now I have them right there, at the barn.  I also read through my task lists on Parelli Connect and took a few of those with me.  I'm following another blog that lists a new task each week and I'll be using that as well.

I played with both horses in about an hour.  I feel I accomplished more in that single hour than I have in all the times I've played since fall camp.  I checked out Bleu's extreme Friendly Game and started her on the F8 pattern.  I played with Cricket's "snappy" and started to re-build her on-line canter.

Nothing was perfect but it felt progressive.  When Bleu had trouble with the draw on the F8, I chunked it down until I got a willing 2E2E (two eyes, two ears) draw.  When Cricket was giving me low energy, I just matched it until she was mentally engaged enough to offer more.

Turns out that having a plan makes it easier to deviate when necessary.  By actually knowing what I was trying to accomplish, I was able to separate, isolate and recombine.  The times I've just wallered around the arena, I had no idea how to fix what wasn't working because I had no real idea what I was trying to accomplish in the first place.

Finally, I was reminded by my good friend and 1* Junior Parelli Instructor Wendy Morgan (or on Facebook) that it's about the relationship.  If you don't put the relationship first, what is the point?  So I decided to find ways to be pleased.  Pleased with my horses, pleased with myself.  Lo and behold, it worked!  Now I feel like I'm looking forward to playing and being with my horses.  Finally!


Tina said...

Oh, Lisa, I can so relate to the slump, as you well know! I'm happy that you're finding ways to climb out - and that you're enjoying your horses again! That's such a fabulous feeling!!

(ps~ My word verification is "naggeth". Hmmm, is someone trying to tell me something?? LOL)

Lisa said...

I've been uninterested in playing with Bleu and except for the minor triumph of bareback with Cricket, nothing she did was good enough.

I hate feeling this way - especially about something I love so much.

So I'm going back to what worked before - being pleased. Bleu tries her heart out for me and is starting to really look TO me. Cricket has the most beautiful natural movement and connection.

We've got a lot to work on but we've got a lot going on.

Naturally Gaited said...

There is definitely a trade-off sometimes between aiming to progress through the Parelli system and feeling unworthy. It is hard not to negatively judge our partner's performance - and ourselves! I'm still trying to find the balance. Blogging sure helps. Thanks for posting. :-)