Photo by Margaret Chant and edited by Jessica Metropulos

Saturday, November 28, 2009

BFO leading to Breakthrough (I Hope!)

Short post tonight, I had a very nifty BFO today with Prin. In developing our L4 online stuff, Prin struggles to keep good flexion in canter out at longer distances. Her rhythm and relaxation are good, and she keeps contact in the mental aspect of the word, but has a hard time maintaining true physical contact, i.e being straight on the circle, and it's not her fault--she's just been physically incapable of it.

I had lunch with my friend Michelle, a fellow L4 student and also a 2* Parelli professional, this week, and we had an opportunity to talk strategies, as her little horse, Connor, also struggled with this.

I've been told, time and again, that the solution (or at least part of it!) is longitudinal flexion at the trot online. That this will build Prin's ability to bend and flex her body independently. I've been given lots of instruction on how to achieve this--I've tried it all, but never seemed to be able to achieve satisfactory results. I've used porcupine games as well as driving games to try to get my horse's ribs and body flexing, and it just never happened.

Michelle, again, made this as a suggestion, but she, unlike everyone else, gave me the key that was missing--she said "If you're walking with her while she trots, you can actually use your driving game and communicate with her inside hind foot. Linda calls it a 'partial disengagement', and if you push it under, she has to use her HQ more, and her natural instinct will be to stretch and breath more."

EUREKA!! Prin and I found it today, almost immediately! I was just playing on the 12' line, and switched my focus to that inside hind, instead of her ribs. Instantly, Her head sank lower, her eyes softened, and she started to stretch and blow. I quit pretty much on that note--no need to overload. But how COOL! I'll continue playing with it over the next few days, and I have a feeling she's going to make HUGE changes. Shall keep you posted!

Okay, to bed with me!

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