Thursday, October 21, 2010

4/4 Time

Over the last four days, I've somehow managed to play with Guinness a little on the ground four times in a row. This is truly amazing since it has been months since we've had time together. During one recent stretch, I sat on him twice (once on a trail ride, and once bareback for 15 min. in the rain) during a 5 WEEK stretch of time.. I'm pleased that we made it to the ACTHA ride last weekend and survived. ;-)

Here is a little of what we've done over the past few days:

10/21: Intended to play with Fig 8s, and instead played with circles on & off line. Once at liberty, Guinness left on the send, but I waited and he came around as if nothing had happened. ;-) Walking was good. Tried changing directions with he broke gait at a trot and darned if it didn't improve his motivation! Also played with sideways toward & away, the pedestal, and jumping. It was a good session.

10/22: I visited with two friends, and then arrived home around 9:30 pm. Played with Guinness' "energy bubble" while we watched Smokey finish his dinner. I can see the wheels in his brain turn as he works out how to move his body sideways toward me from either side. He can easily do it when I'm to his left, but has to flip everything mentally when I'm on his right and it shows! Too funny. We also played with spins at liberty while in the run-in (close quarters).

10/23: Went out into the back field (more like a dry lot) to goof off for a few minutes. No halter or rope. Just a stick & treat pouch. Played with gesturing and then waiting for G. to figure out what I was asking for - with treats to reinforce "yes." Oh what fun!! He circled at a brisk walk with changes of direction. He sidepassed over objects both toward and away from me, with just a gesture of my near hand over his back. He backed up like a champ with me 20 ft away in Zone 5 with me lifting my hands high to wave him back. Slow spins are merely an extension of what he already knows..

Afterward, when handling Smokey & Cody, I really realized how differently Guinness responds to me. There is almost no resistance to my requests to change direction, to move specific parts of his body, or to slow down or stop. Plus, only one time *ever* has he offered to walk a few steps away from me as I approached him (when Smokey was telling him to avoid me in order to keep eating some yummy grass in my front yard). However, he does sometimes think twice before following me into "danger" (ie; the river) and he doesn't respond much when I ask him to go faster (probably due to operator error).

My level 3/4 buddy Alyssa has agreed to play with us to give us some feedback in these areas and to help me to progress my riding. I am now officially in uncharted territory in terms of my knowledge and skills. It is simultaneously intimidating & liberating..


inchwormwv said...

Surprising how you can build on all you have accomplished with just a little time. I think the regularity is important, as so many things are simply habits we are refining... :-)

Lisa said...

Almost my *entire* journey with Cricket has been exploring uncharted territory; wading in unfamiliar waters.

The best thing I've found is to just put one foot in front of the other. It's amazing what can be accomplished by adding one little thing to another, to another, to another.

Parelli Central said...

Sounds like you and your horse had four great play sessions. Good for you! Do you have the new Levels' DVD's? Also, you might look on the Savvy Club website under "Level's Pathway". I've noticed that not all students are aware that there are videos of all four savvys and levels with Pat showing every task that is listed on the self assessment sheets...

Petra Christensen
Parelli 2Star Junior Instructor
Parelli Central

Naturally Gaited said...

Thanks, Petra. I've had the new Levels DVDs since they were released. They are very enlightening, especially when used in conjunction with the old Levels info (video packs & red/blue packs). Our Parelli Play Group is planning to systematically work through the L2 & L3 assessment requirements together in 2011. :-)