Thursday, October 28, 2010

Preparing for L3 Riding

It is time for me to become more conscious of the cues that I'm using while mounted.

I tend to ride intuitively - more from 15+ years of pre-PNH muscle memory and reflex then from any systematic awareness of what I trying to achieve and how to go about helping my horse to succeed. This has been ok for puttering on little trail rides in L2 style, however Guinness & I seem to be progressing past this despite ourselves.

This evening, after playing liberty porcupine & driving, I decided to tack G. up with a bareback pad and halter/rope. We played with trying to figure out what I was asking him to do with just my shifting focus, my weight, and using my thighs to cue him. (I didn't pick up the reins at all except when I needed to help him to figure out that I was asking him to back up.) Wow, how revealing..

He was very eager to earn his treats (Blue Seal hay stretcher pellets) and acted just like a kid playing charades. Turns out that when I stop to think about it, I'm not all that clear about the cues that I'd like to teach him for certain behaviors. I intend to use the Parelli system, especially since one step builds upon another to form a comprehensive, well-thought-out whole. I've absorbed most of the overt cues over my years stuck in L1/2 limbo, but my vision of how to progress from here is muddy!

My intent is to go back to the pocket guides for the old PNH video packs to get clear about what I am trying to achieve. (I realize that some of this information has been updated, however they are still excellent well-written resources.) I'm going to aim to teach 1 or 2 behaviors at a time as a continuation of what we are playing with on the ground in short, sweet sessions. I'm also going have some L3/4 friends watch me ride in order to help me sort things out.

Tonight, my homework is to read "Chapter 12: Working Under Saddle" in the clicker training book, Getting to Yes by Sharon Foley!


Lisa said...

I'm looking forward to your thoughts as you do this.

Personally, I've not found Parelli to be much help with my riding. At least not when it comes to any sort of connected riding. Maybe it's just me and how I've learned it.

I'll be very interested to see it from another perspective. Maybe I'll discover something I missed.

Parelli Central said...

Great to hear you are progressing to Level 3 riding. Going thru the pocket books will be helpful! Using the patterns will be another way to further your relationship with your horse... and will give you a roadmap on what to do with your horse.

Petra Christensen
Parelli 2Star Junior Instructor
Parelli Central