Photo by Margaret Chant and edited by Jessica Metropulos

Monday, December 7, 2009


Yeah, I don't even know how to talk about my session with Prin today. I'm honestly at a loss for words for how INCREDIBLE it was. You ever have those days where everything you've been playing towards just suddenly drops into place? That was today.

I took Prin out, vowing that I wouldn't get hung up or obsessed with the big picture, the goal, the task, whatever, that I was going to focus on the pieces and reward the slightest try. Interesting how motivating that strategy is for an LBI...Isn't it fun? I can have the same BFO on a half a dozen times on different levels...all in one year!

Anyway, everything sort of just fell into place. I've been playing for the past week or so in isolating porcupine games and getting different parts of her body super light and responsive to a feel. Isolate, separate, and recombine, and all that. I'd been focusing particularly on zones one and 3/4, because this is pretty much where my Prin's biggest physical blocks are. I started using cookies as incentives in her zone 1, simply because I could, coupled with some lift and driving game in circles, really close in until she relaxed and REALLY flexed around me. I saw some big changes there, but the biggest surprises came when I decided to play with some zone 5 driving. After some small isolations in her hind end, she offered amazingness: QUALITY haunches in/half pass from zone 5 with ONE LINE! Um...COOL?! I'm really excited for this, because it's going to help our finesse SO MUCH. I'm really loving how my online is turning into my finesse!

When it comes to zone 1 with Prin, one scenario has always stayed true in my head--I feel like the ultimate zone 1 accomplishment with her (and maybe this is because of how..DULL Prin used to be!)is to achieve quality and correct vertical flexion in the halter, and be able to perform collected maneuvers as such. Farrah and Caesar are a great example, and I once asked her if it were as simple as a broken porcupine game, or if there was more to it than that. Farrah responded that yes, it was a broken porcupine game, but the reason probably wasn't disrespect so much as a lack of strength/flexibility, and that she's just telling me by resisting that she isn't strong enough to do it. That's been a journey in and of itself--helping her find that strength! But recently, I've felt that we're on the edge of a breakthrough.

Well...ladies and gentlemen. Today. I isolated, separated, and recombined. I showed Prin what it was I wanted, helped her find comfort in it, and she got it! Prin, for the first time in our partnership, was prancing around like a dressage pony with her head all in and a HALTER! This is I mentioned, can't really find words for it! It shows me that my horse has developed physically in a way I had truthfully seen as only wishful thinking, and is starting to offer it as her own ideas. It also shows me how much EASIER my finesse journey is going to be if I continue to develop this on the ground, then apply it to my riding.

So. That's what's going on here. Yeah, Prin is pretty much awesome. I'm SO proud of her!

And now I'm off for bed. The forecast is promising a blizzard tomorrow (6-12 inches of snow), so I may be home-bound tomorrow...or I may be riding in the snow. Either way, I'm tired now! Savvy on!


Anonymous said...

I want to see some pics of Prin being all fancy!! I bet she looks great!

And I am almost jealous of your blizzard. We had snow on Saturday but it's almost all gone now D:

Virginia said...

yay! I love this post! I wish I could come up and see, I know you are probably a million times more amazing than last time. And You should be really really proud because doing all this stuff with Princess is challenging- like challenging for her physically. Unlike say todd who prances around like a dressage pony since the day he was born! I definitely shows your hard work and dedication. Keep it up!