I think that I need an attitude adjustment.
I'm feeling a tiny bit disappointed in our session this morning at the indoor arena, and I think that it is because we didn't meet all of my "goals." How ridiculous.
Here is a review of the progress that Guinness and I have made in the past two weeks:
3/31 - Rode Guinness for 5 minutes at home. The big task was spanking him to "go" from a halt to a walk, and I was nervous!
4/1 - Rode at home in back field from treat-laden barrel to barrel, with my husband nearby, spanking to go. This was a big deal. :-)
4/3 - Online tune-up with Alyssa at home in front field. Permission to get more particular! Huge progress with respectful backing, and sending.
4/4 - Played in new environments: on the trail and in the outdoor arena at the stable.
4/5 - Played in the indoor arena alone for the first time. Sideways, squeeze and yo-yo on 22'. Rode casually wondering around the arena with two reins.
4/7 - Played in the indoor arena. First "no grouchy face during mounting." Point to point mounted with 2 reins, circles & figure 8 on 22' line.
4/9 - Played in the indoor arena. First one-rein ride! Point to point.
4/10 - Trail walk/ride at park. Rode about a mile. First real ride outside arena.
4/12 - Played in the indoor arena. Steady progress. Rode the rail about 2 times each direction with one-rein. Figure 8, sideways, circles and backing on 22'.
4/13 - Played in indoor arena. Steady progress. (See below for details.)
Expectation leads to disappointment. I've also heard expectation referred to as "premeditated resentment." These feelings are a big red flag to myself that I'm getting too direct-line and goal-oriented (predatory!) in my thinking. This means that I am at risk of allowing my immediate thoughts to supercede the development of my relationship with Guinness. The last thing that I want to do is to loose sight of the ultimate and absolute goal of lifetime partnership with my horse!
Ok, so here is what we did today:
- Loaded from bumper, no lead line.
- Sent into a stall from 15' away (no driving)
- Locked in stall for about 5 minutes - could see me at all times, from a distance.
- Liberty over ground poles at a trot, multiple times
- Liberty maneuvers over poles (backing, turning, straddling pole, etc.)
- Sideways from 20' feet with me moving with him
- Sideways from 12'-22' with my feet still (his left side)
- Circles - at least 2 times around at a walk, each direction. (I got bored..)
- Figure 8s around barrels from 22' away.
- Flowing precision moves at 12-15', including canter to sliding stop on "whoa", million dollar move to canter forward, sideways, sending in small traveling circles, falling leaf pattern and more!
- He came to pick me up from mounting block, at liberty, from halfway across the arena.
- Mounted & slid off in all different ways (not quite over rump yet)
- Ride the rail, corner to corner, at least 2x each way at a walk
- Transition from walk to faster gait while mounted. I know, I know. We aren't even ready for this yet. He hops forward as though about to canter, then resumes a fast walk.
- Transition from walk to steady trot/gait while circling. Honestly, I don't think that we've really even played with this yet. At this point, I've been trying to get him to understand his "maintain gate, maintain direction" responsibilities at the walk. Perhaps instead of trying to advance this game at a walk, we could move onto the trot/gait? This would undoubtedly help him to understand when I'm asking him to trot/gait steadily when mounted. Duh.
- Riding bareback. Naked. No saddle. I'm a little nervous. Perhaps I should get through this while he is still disinclined to move fast when mounted?
Remaining "Holes" in Self-Assessments:
- More practice picking up a 4 feet from one side
- Walk/trot transitions on Circle, plus 2 laps without breaking gate at trot
- More practice Sideways over pole and sideways w/o fence
- More indirect rein to direct rein
- More precise whoa (lift rein)
- Carrot stick plus casual rein
I think that the upshot is that I'm pressuring myself to have a second gear available while riding prior to the Carol Coppinger clinic. I need to remind myself that I still have a whole month more to prepare, and two+ more weeks using the indoor arena (at least 10 more sessions).
I need to just chill.
It is good that after tomorrow, we will have two activities somewhere else, and then I'll be taking a week long break..
PS - This is my 100th blog post about Guinness. Am I being a trifle obsessive? ;-)