Photo by Margaret Chant and edited by Jessica Metropulos

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Oh, So THAT'S What Productive Feels Like!

Hi you guys!

It's been a very bizarre week, hence my slight drop off the face of the planet. Physical exhaustion, coupled with major disorganization, and a rather unkind man-made knock to my confidence have all taken a toll on my horsin' around these days. So anyway, I figured you all were due for a bit of an update!

As I mentioned, it's been slow here, and the tension within MY MIND has been building slowly, and got to the point last night that I COULD NOT ignore it anymore. So last night, I broke, and went "I'm going to LISTEN to my body for once! I want sleep, I want to get up early and enjoy the morning, I want to stay hydrated, I want to stop eating crap at random times, I want to read, I want to get back to my learning frame of mind, I want to spend all day at the barn and love it like I used to. I'm going to get organized, and I'm GOING to do this." So I did. I was up early this morning, actually ate breakfast, made coffee, drank 3 glasses of water before I left. I cleaned my car out, then headed to the farm and had my first round with the horses--an hour and a half long session with little Sunny.

That was an adventure. I had a wedding to go to yesterday, and so little Sunshine got the day off, which was fine, she had earned it, but she must have spent the day plotting her next playtime with me! Today's session revolved around all things porcupine. When she arrived here, she was very unconfident in zone one, and made up for it with confidence and dominance in zones 2 and 3. All last week revolved around getting zone 1 really nice and friendly, while keeping her ribs and shoulders where they belong--not on top of me ;)

Today was quite the opposite, she offered some of the most beautiful correct trotting circles she's given since she's been here, but she was very snotty and pushy with zone 1. Talk about swinging the pendulum! Anyway, We played with porcupine pressure on the poll, leading by the chin and ears, as well as by the legs. She was a little resistant at first, but really caught on quickly, and by the end of the session was leading all over the place by different parts of her body, and offering to put her head down, around, or up, depending on what the situation called for. Really cool stuff!

Afterward, I hopped on her back. I'd been on her twice before, and really focused on getting her to accept my existing there, lots of friendly games, etc, and she's been a champ, so today I started teaching her the beginnings of HQ and FQ yields. At first there was a little brace, which was more my not having my weight correctly distributed, so once I fixed myself, she picked right up on it. I think she's going to be just wonderful! Pictures and VIDEO to come, I promise!!!

I headed home, and ate a healthy lunch (I have developed some really unhealthy sporadic eating habits this summer, and that's something I am determined to correct now), caught up on some reading, and then headed back up to play with both Crest and Cricket.

I had a really fun and educational online to Freestyle session with Crest, involving lots of play with a flank rope--how interesting. I followed an interesting path of indicators to get there, and let's just say his take on the whole concept has changed a bit since I last played with it. But it ended well, and I really want to include some of that good stuff in a video of us. He's awesome ;) The Freestyle riding was an entirely different story (For me anyway!). I opted to ride bareback with a carrot stick today and really start developing and progressing towards L3 Patterns. This was interesting for two reasons. One, I haven't ridden Crest in almost 3 weeks, and two, I haven't carrot stick ridden on him in who-knows how long. The main lesson I took out of it was that I need to do it FAR more often, and that I use my reins to balance on him A LOT. Yikes! I'll be playing with that in the near future! Overall his response was great though--much more responsive than I anticipated, and I got gutzy and rode with just a savvy string for a while (hackamore for safety net), and I actually felt very connected with him, which is super cool. More to develop there soon, I'm sure.

My session on Cricket was very rewarding. First of all, I took the time and shimmed her up in my fluidity saddle, which is huge, because when she came here, my 32 cm Stubben Roxane (WAYYY narrow) was too wide for her. She uses less shims in the super-wide fluidity than Crest, now! Gotta love her for that little Arabian rib cage! Anyway, I had a really really nice freestyle ride on her. We played in the round pen first on isolations (HQ and FQ), and then playing with follow the rail and transitions which she did magnificently with. I can't wait to develop her futher, she's going to make someone a PERFECT partner, I just know it!

Anyway, that's all for now folks. It's now 11:00, and I'm going to pattern that whole "early to bed" thing this week! Savvy on!

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