Monday, November 29, 2010

But, I don't WANT to... (in a whiney voice)

I just read a very good blog post:

It got me thinking about how our over-thinking can box us in. Here are two of my current mental blocks:

1. I still feel distinctly uncomfortable with the thought of riding in my tiny back field (basically my back yard). Why?? Because about 7 years ago, Smokey threatened to run away with me. Did he? No, 'cause I got off. Since then, I've ridden Bandit back there a little, years ago. I've also ridden Guinness there about 4 times (with someone else nearby giving me moral support). Come to think of it, it may have something to do with my high-school horse running off & dumping me while in a field with his buddies. But, even when the other horses are confined, I get sort of anxious! I guess that I need approach and retreat. I'd really love for someone to bring a horse over here to ride with me!! I'm going to try to rope some friends into coming over. Perhaps I should host a playdate or try bribery?

2. My horses CAN NOT do the Figure 8 pattern. When I send them, they go the the barrel (or whatever) and try to climb on it (mostly Guinness). I get my rope tangled up and knock things over. I feel stupid. I've been half-a**ed playing with this pattern for a YEAR. I hate it!.. However, I used to feel that circling was impossible too, and breaking it down and rewarding each component is solving this. I suspect that what I need to do is to start circling around cones, then using the cones to mark changes of direction, and mixing it up to finally develop a Fig. 8 pattern. Any other ideas?

So what are YOUR mental blocks that are preventing you from progressing? Fess up!


Lisa said...

GREAT post, Clare.

Something to try with your F8 - stop using markers. It's something Carol Coppinger gave us - when you're having issues with F8, ditch the cones or barrels or whatever and just pretend there is something there. Your focus gets better, the horse understands better and there is certainly less to get caught and tangled in.

My hang-ups . . .

I have a fear that Cricket will run away with me. She's never done it - never. The only time I was run-off with was a one-time ride on the horses at a summer camp where my uncle worked. When I was 9. I think it has more to do with loosing control more than anything else.

I have a lot of "your not good enough" thoughts or maybe more "you're not as good as everyone thinks you are" thoughts. It makes it hard for me to cross "the silly bridge" and do what I need to do. I get hung up on the expectations of others.

Naturally Gaited said...

Thank you, Lisa. I'll see what I can do about being specific about a Fig 8-like pattern, but without the markers. Who knows?

That being-run-away-with fear is a tough one. For me, the weird thing is that I don't feel it when riding outside of my field. I sort of felt it the first time that I rode G. in a big open field, but when I encourage him to canter and he preferred to stop, I got over it. That is why it is sooo silly for me to worry about it in the tiny field. I'll have all that I can do to get the boy into a trot!!

You've ridden Cricket with just a string around her neck in the roundpen, right? I feel perversely empowered doing it, just as I do when riding with a stick & no reins (the reins mess me up). Somehow it makes my butt "heavier" and I feel less likely to come off. ;-) Perhaps to feel more in control, we have to start by giving it up?

Lisa said...

I've ridden Cricket bridle-less in the arena as well as in the open. I usually have a stick or neck string but not always. If things start to get pear-shaped, I bail.

This past spring, after not riding for quite some time, I got on her bare-nekkid bareback with no string, no halter and no stick. Got a wild hair and asked her to trot. It was a little scary - she stopped listening to my seat and I thought I'd need to bail. But she stopped in the corner and we walked back down the rail.

I'm becoming less afraid bareback and I'm hopeful that with my new saddle, I'll be able to push the envelope a little further and we'll be able to get some progressive riding in through the winter (thank goodness for my covered, indoor-ish arena!)

Naturally Gaited said...


Tina said...

Great post Clare. My mental blocks are many and varied! LOL. I have some weird issues with riding that I'm chewing on lately. I get much more predatory when riding - perhaps a throwback to too many years of traditional dressage? Anyhow, I lose a LOT of leadership and usually end up with both of us mad and cranky by the end. *sigh* Emotional fitness, how I love thee!

My issue with Online is boredom. I don't really stick with anything long enough in a session to make progress, because it's boring to me. I can't imagine how my LBI feels about it! So, some more imagination and patience are needed.

Liberty - I'm loving at the moment. I don't have a round pen right now, so I've just been doing a little bit of Liberty at the beginning of every session in the (tiny) playground. It's making a huge different in my ability to read her - although it hasn't yet affected my ability to act on what I read. *sigh* Baby steps, right? ;)

Naturally Gaited said...

But, Tina, you are now in Level Four! You can't have any mental blocks. ;-)

I, too, dread Online. In fact, I rarely do any in favor of Liberty. I figure that anything G. learns at Liberty can be taught to him later Online, right! Backward, I know. What we are missing out is "following the feel" but we are playing with that in other ways.. (I'm great at rationalizing.)

Thanks for sharing. :-)

Parelli Central said...

Clare, approach and retreat is a great idea. As an additional pointer find out where your comfort zone truly ends. That MIGHT be leading your horse in the pasture for example. So, the plan would be to lead your horse in the pasture, then turn back to your comfort zone. Do this as many times as necessary until you feel nothing. Take your time... Then move on to the next step. Which for example could be mount your horse. Then get off... Repeat as necessary. Then mount your horse ride to a spot that you have previously decided on (have a plan!),then get off there...
Having moral support by one of your friends definitely helps, as long as the person understands your needs.
Have a wonderful Holiday weekend. It's nice to see how much you have accomplished with Guiness pver a short period of time.

Incorporating straight lines for your LBI in between figure 8's will also help with impulsion. Set up several set of cones (imaginary or not) and move with straight lines in between them.

Petra Christensen
Parelli Central
Parelli 2Star Junior Instructor

Naturally Gaited said...

Thank you, Petra.

Parelli Central said...

You're so welcome :-)

Petra Christensen
Parelli 2Star Junior Instructor
Parelli Central