Sunday, November 28, 2010
Pleased as Punch
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!