FOCUS gives you FEEL. FOCUS and FEEL give you TIMING. FOCUS, FEEL, and TIMING give you BALANCE.

The Responsibilities

  • For the Human
  • 1. Don't act like a predator
  • 2. Have an independent seat
  • 3. Think like a horse
  • 4. Use the natural power of focus
  • For the Horse
  • 1. Don't act like a prey animal
  • 2. Maintain gait
  • 3. Maintain direction
  • 4. Look where you're going

The Principles

  • 1. Horsemanship is natural
  • 2. Don't make or teach assumptions
  • 3. Communication is two or more individuals sharing and understanding an idea
  • 4. Horses and humans have mutual responsibilities
  • 5. The attitude of justice is effective
  • 6. Body language is the universal language
  • 7. Humans teach horses, horses teach humans
  • 8. Principles, purpose, and time are the tools of teaching

Monday, July 12, 2010

July 11, 2010

We've had several sessions since my last post, including a Parelli Playdate at a friend's place.
At one session, I haltered another horse and took him in to play since Sonny turned and went away. I had a great Sesson with Bxxxx, and I think he enjoyed it too. I just tried to play with the same games/tasks that L had told me she was working on, so that it would be a productive session that might be helpful to her, and not just a non-progressive session to kill time till I went and tried to see if Sonny would catch me. After playing with Bxxx, Sonny did catch me when I went back to the pasture. How interesting. In fact, he's let me approach, or he has approaced me every time since. But, if he doesnt want to play, I have permission to play with 2 other horses so that I won't be driving 1.5 hr total for nothing. Though I'd rather play with and progress with Sonny, I do think it's good for my savvy to sometimes play with another horse.
Sonny did pretty well trailer loading to go and to come back from the playdate. It could be lots better, but it was not too bad. I did lead him in, look forward to the time when he will send in. I did several slip and grip times, letting him back out and not feel trapped, untill he finally willingly came on in and stayed calmly for the butt bar to be latched. He munched hay immediately after that with no signs of anxiety, except for calling to see why T & B weren't on the trailer yet! And at unloading time, he was trying to snatch more hay as the butt bar was being undone,,so for certain not anxious or in a big hurry to get out.
I felt at the playdate that our play was less than 70% of ususal, I felt somewhat frustrated, plus about half of the play tasks that were set up for us to all to 'do' were things that either I knew Sonny & I hadn't done yet--sideways without a fence over cones, or things I'd never played with--in a square-move hq or fq with only 2 feet out,moving 360 degrees. But, we did improve slightly after a few tries, and I ended up having fun, esp. after Sonny settled down and could focus some.
However, our maintain direction at circle is badly broken. I feel that he is being deliberately oppositional and defiant. He flips around without being asked for change of direction, then tries to blow right thru when I ask for a change of direction to get the original direction back. He gets really bracy , but I don't read it as RB. The playdate session was worse than the session prior at our barn,,,,where I thought we had pretty much worked thru it by asking for either back up quite a distance when he did it or an immediate ask for change of direction. Several sessions ago, I could get 6 or more laps in either direction, but now I can only get them to his left. To the right he goes less than a quarter of a circle then flips around. I've tried asking for the change myself just before the 'spot' simply to break the pattern, but so far that hasnt helped. Maybe more of that is needed. If I 'nag' by eye or CS, I can 'push' him thru that 'spot', but I don't think that is the best, or even savvy way to fix this. I've thought of windmilling the CS to create a wall that he would have to run into to make it easy for him to do the right thing by turning back to the asked for direction. I've never seen or read that technique, and it may be too radical and blow him up.
It's soon time to consult a PP if I can't fix this. I can't let this develop into a full blown pattern for him.
On a good note, he is doing much better on change of direction when I ask for it,, mostly goes with only a lead of the rope , ie phase 1--unless the running backwards is phase 1,,and I guess it is. Oh well, doing good on a soft phase 2, then. :)
Another dilema I'm having, is how to get him to jump a barrel when I ask. Rarely will he do it. I ask, and allow......allow.....when he loses focus, back up and resend. I guess I give up too soon, just need to repeat, repeat, repeat untill he finally takes the jump. I wonder if that is L1 technique, and L2 technique would be different. Another question for a PP if I don't get the desired response pretty soon.
All other tasks/patterns are coming along pretty nicely. I've sat on him 2 different sessions, can't exactly call it riding yet,,,though I did work on the reining positions,,can't remember if I''ve already posted about this yet since I've had at least 3 sessions since the last post. He's doing much better, getting soft on lateral flexion. Somewhat bracy on HQ yield/indirect rein. Pretty nice on 9 step backup, but begins to question and get bracy if asked for more than 2 or 3 steps. I'm still confused on the correct cue for slow down other than to begin a lateral flexion or 9 step backup. Seems like I've seen on a dvd to lift 1 rein, or jiggle one rein, but that was a long time ago and not taught at all at the course in April. L is arranging a group lession with a PP , and I hope to concentrate on freestyle, so hopefully I will get it clarified for me then. I have to shim the bareback pad to keep it from slipping forward, and am looking at an Abetta saddle. Don't have the funds at this time to order it.
I havent played with liberty lately, but watched some dvd from the old blue L2 last night , and got some good ideas from that.
Wooooohoooooooo! I'm playing in 3 Savvys now,,,after being in only Online for so long.
I'm getting close (but 'close' could take unknown amount of time to actually complete---few weeks to few months to ???? ) to completing all the tasks and mandatory patterns in L2 !!!! wow! yay me! Still need to be successful with figure 8 at trot, and all the sideways and squeeze tasks, and a few random other tasks. Only took me a year and a half to get here,,,,but with approx 1 day a week, ,,,that's only 3 months or less compared to someone who gets to play nearly every day. I like thinking of it that way!!!!
I've asked for a 4 week leave of absence to go to a fast track course in Feb. (gulp!!!!)
Be particular without being picky. Leave the horse feeling smart and successful.

Fay