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

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Good, Good, Not So Good

I struggle with making a plan for my play sessions.  And then I get frustrated when I find myself in the middle of a big pile of "going nowhere."  The other day, I decided to watch this month's Savvy Club DVD rather than continue my 10 day marathon of Clash of the Titans.  I'm so glad I did.

Basically what Linda offers is a 2 minute run-through on the 7 games to see where your horse is and what needs attention.  This is not new but it's an idea who's time has come - at least for me.

I brought Lilly out last night and did a quick run through on the 7 games.  In just about 2 minutes I had an idea of where we were - good friendly game, good driving game but weak on some porcupine and sideways.

We started with porcupine backwards.  Lilly has a bit of a dominant streak and a habit of pushing on people.  Backing is not her strong suit.  It took several repetitions before I felt like Lilly was responding to and respecting the pressure on her chest.  Then everything else just fell into place.

We did just a little "follow the feel" from a rope on her front leg.  I tried to minimize my draw so she'd listen to the rope.  I don't know if she truly moved from the porcupine game but she didn't oppose the feel so I'll take it and just keep working on it.

From there, her yo-yo backwards was so light and soft and straight!  Her circle game send improved and though she pulled in the allow she maintained a circle and then thought through the pressure and released herself by bringing slack into the line.

One of Lilly's biggest problems is that she's learned not to think through puzzles.  Her owner is a very sweet but timid person who would abandon ship at the first sign of trouble.  I've been working with Lilly to deal with issues that come up but keeping her focused on the task but allowing her time to sort things out for herself.

Yesterday she calmly and confidently put two feet on the pedestal and, with just a slight suggestion, offered and then placed a third foot.  I asked her to continue forward and with little fuss, she went right over the pedestal.  It was so cool to see her work through the puzzle instead of trying to get around it.

We finished with just a little bit of lateral flexion.  I think I've found someone to do Lilly's first rides so she'll be staying with me for quite some time.


Tina said...

I really enjoyed the ground session with Linda in the last DVD (haven't seen the riding one yet) for so many reasons. Glad to hear Lily is doing so well and that she'll be sticking around!

Lisa said...

I watched a little bit of Pat's section. I liked how he broke sideways down to it's elements. I had a hard time following most of his narrative - it just wasn't as polished as I've seen him and it confused me more than helped me.

I also didn't like the way in which his student was riding sideways. Way too much of his body was leaning away from the direction of travel and not riding sideways with the horse. This leaning can cause the horse to resist sideways because he is no longer centered under you. I've been working at staying centered over Cricket, "riding" sideways and using subtle hip/leg pressure to help her know what to do. It's no easy but it's way more graceful.