We must expect reverses, even defeats. They are sent to teach us wisdom and prudence, to call forth greater energies, and to prevent our falling into greater disasters. ~ Robert E. LeeI'll start out by saying I had a good ride on Cricket yesterday. We had a short liberty warm-up and then onto saddling.
I've been saddling her at liberty. This is one of my tasks on my Parelli Connect page. The only problem with this scenario is that Cricket is such a pest that she has to keep turning her head to ask for a cookie or to see what I'm doing. Oh well, at least she's involved in the process.
Our carrot stick riding is getting so much better. We started with one stick and did some FTR and Corners Game at the walk and trot. I'm feeling pretty confident with one stick and the trot.
I wanted to revisit our canter - something we haven't done in awhile. I opted to put the stick down to set myself up for more success. Cricket was a little snotty about it but basically obedient. I rode her right lead freestyle but picked up the reins for the left lead. I wanted to be able to help her with her bend. She did really well - the best left lead we've had in ages.
I picked up one stick and we did a little sideways with a bridge rein and then I picked up a second stick. We did some more FTR and Corners at the walk and trot. We stood on the bridges (building up the nerve for the pedestal). I asked her to step over a low jump and with one stick asked her for sideways off the pole. She obliged and I opted to end the ride.
I spent last night reflecting on what worked and what didn't and here are my BFOs from our session:
- Cricket only started biting the stick with some dominance/aggression when I got nervous about trotting with two sticks. Previously she only mouthed the stick out of playfulness, the same as she does on the ground. How very interesting.
- With sticks, leg suddenly always equals forward. We've been working on "no rein" isolations of the FQ and HQ and she's pretty good. But not with sticks. I think this exposes a hole in our foundation. I don't know how consistent I am with my leg as a cue for forward and so it's kind of confusing. I cannot say I micro-manage her with the reins because we can do it with arms crossed and no forward. What makes it different with the sticks?