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

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I need to find a way to increase Cricket's magnetism.

It's different than draw. We have draw . . . most of the time. If we had magnetism, we'd have better draw.

A while I go I blogged about rapport being more than just handing out cookies; I realize that's part of my solution.

But first, the problem. Or rather the challenge.

How do I cause Cricket to understand the send on the circle in open area liberty? How do I keep that rubber band whereby even as she leaves, she's being pulled back?

This is isolated to open area liberty. In the round corral, she circles just fine. She'll even offer short-range circles and doesn't rely on the panels to "hold her in."

I'm not worried. I'm not taking it personally. I'm just pondering ways in which I can, in our daily play, begin to build the rubber band.


Lisa said...

Is it poor form to be the first to comment on your own blog post? Oh well. Since writing this post, I've been ruminating on the question; I have some additional thoughts.

I wonder if I'm sending Cricket with the vision of her circling or leaving. If I envision her leaving, then the focus of my send is "go away." I need the focus of my send to be "circle me."

I wonder if I'm yelling at her in the send. On-line, I've worked to refine my phases to very small, subtle movements. I'm I pulling out the megaphone as soon as the halter and lead comes off?

Cricket is pretty good with close range and non-circling activities. If I started each session with good, provocative fun, could I then transition to some circle-type stuff and have her stay with me?

Well, I have a 50/50 shot so it's worth a try . . .

Tina said...

I love that you're ruminating on your own post! Because I'm going to need to know whatever you figure out! I have good close-range, non-circling activities, too. Circles aren't something I've tried without a roundpen. Even with a round pen they're fairly disconnected. However, her online circles are too, so it's not a huge surprise. I haven't yet circled her long enough to cause her to connect with me, but it's something I need to do. I've started out for it in the past, but have given up after 20 minutes or so. It's a patience thing for me...I'm afraid it's going to take two days! Once I can get back into my roundpen next spring, we'll probably go for it in there and see if I can get some positive flexion and connection. Until then, I'll be happy to listen to you puzzle through! ;)

Oh! One of the things that I was told once in a clinic that might help is to disengage every 1/4 circle. Then they start expecting to come back, and maintain that lock on you easier. Good luck!

Lisa said...

I've been reading the Equestrian Art blog and it's given me some ideas. It will be an interesting puzzle to sort out.

I don't mind if Cricket leaves but I'd like her to feel the pull to come back rather than me having to ask for the draw. When we figure this out, I have a feeling it will be the key to L4 liberty.

Anna Mae Gold said...

Cool. I love this! I'll stay tuned... I bet we can learn something about becoming magnetic for heaps of money, fabulous dates and wonderful experiences in general... I'd like to put a rubber band on my credit card for starters... ;-)

Lisa said...

Just an update . . . I should blog about it but a comment will have to suffice for now.

I can hardly believe how things have improved. Being super soft on the send and just allowing have changed EVERYTHING. She's been doing beautiful liberty circles at the walk and trot. I only allow for a lap or so before disengaging her and I don't dwell on it. But, knock on wood, the bolting is gone. At least until I screw something else up and have to fix it . . . again.