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

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December 4, 2010

Lesson with 2*PP Carol Herring 12/4/10. I chose freestyle savvy for our lesson, and I've done a lot of licking and chewing since the lesson. First of all, I didn't allow myself quite enough time to play with Sonny beforehand,and more precisely to get him tacked up after our warmup in the roundpen. I was almost,but not quite ready when the call came out of the barn that I was up next. (There were 6 students doing sequencial semiprivate lessons) So, I went in feeling slightly frazzled, and spent a few minutes putting the final adjustments on Sonny's tack. Then I had to wait,,,wait,,,wait,,,and,,,did I say -wait- untill Sonny gave me permission to mount. At the time, I was getting rather frustrated with him/the situation---as in 'we were wasting precious minutes of my lesson time---ie. I could see dollar bills floating down the drain AND even more importantly-felt I was missing out on the instruction I had so looked forward to---minutes of my hour ticking away wasted. I was just about to change to an online lesson when Sonny finally gave me permission to mount. OK, lesson officially started (in hindsight-lesson truly started during the mounting attempts), and I was geniunely expecting to be able to have a walk/trot transitions, or follow the rail, or cloverleaf, or other patterns lesson. Instead Sonny showed Carol that we really needed to work on lateral flexion untill that was soft, then indirect rein untill that was soft, THEN we did figure 8 at walk and weave at walk. How did I think I was ready for trot when I had a broken hindquarter yield/indirect rein , much less a broken lateral flexion???? I thought we had those 'good enough', but Sonny thought otherwise, and demonstrated otherwise. Play or ride the horse that shows up. Lesson learned. I was a little dissappointed at the time that the lesson didn't turn out as I'd planned and hoped,,but as quickly as on the drive home, I realized that the lesson I got was exactly what I needed, and showed me what basics I need to practice untill they are truly soft and automatic for us both. On the plus side, Carol was able to praise me on my focus, and on my putting the relationship first whenever Sonny would decide to stop moving forward. (smile, rub him, begin again at phase 1 asking to walk off) Also, one of the other students made the comment that by the time the lesson was over, Sonny had his ears forward and looked interested, whereas at the beginning he had his ears back a lot, and looked bored. Another big plus is that the roundpen online warmup went very well. Sonny was connected and mostly obedient. For the first time, he didn't take off in a bucking fit when I ran up and tagged the ground behind him after he had broken gait. Yay!!! He resumed the trot, and I must say--a beautiful, big extended trot at that. He looked awesome. I think he finally 'got' that it is a game when he breaks gait, and it's not that I'm trying to beat him. (I think he has baggage from his past)
I also got to watch all the remaining lessons for the day, and we had a great lunch that Carol provided for us. I learned a lot, and I hope to lesson once a month to keep progressing. I am on the waiting list for Carol Coppinger's super camp in April, and I am enrolled in Kathy Baar's clinic in March.
A funny note-when loading to go to the lesson, Sonny was stonewalling me a bit, but the minute, and I mean the minute that Villa arrived a the back of the trailer, he suddenly decided it was time to load up. It felt to me like he thought 'Oh gee, now there's 2 of them, I might as well give it up cause I know I'm gonna hafta get on here'. She didnt have to do anthing, just her presence did the trick. Funny boy.