Friday, December 31, 2010

Just Let Them Get Dirty

Today, I experienced a little growth in my emotional fitness after I got figurative kick in the head from myself because of a big lapse in priorities.

The weather was beautiful--50 degrees Fahrenheit, snow almost completely gone. The only problem was it was a bit muddy. I came out with Blu on the featherlines. Today, I wanted to canter! I warmed him up with the touch it game. He was having a lot of difficulty, though. He did finally get lighter and in tune with my focus, though.

As we started in the driveway, I realized that Blu was going very aimlessly. I tied him to a tree and grabbed three buckets from the barn. Foci! We started up again. As I tried to keep the line out of the mud, aim Blu, drive Blu, allow Blu, make turns, etc, I began to get very tangled in my handful of lines. I had clean lines, but boy was I frustrated with them. Things were going to Hell in a handbasket pretty quick. Here is where I kicked myself for lack of judgment of priorities. Just let those lines get dirty! I have washed lines before. These lines are special because they were a gift from someone when I was in Colorado for the performance summit. But she would want them to get dirty to keep me from getting frustrated.

From the moment I stopped caring about those lines getting dirty, everything seemed to fall into place. My buckets were too far apart. Blu needed a small success. And I faced that I needed one, too. So, I made the distance about 30 feet and we went back and forth between the two. Once he had excellent focus at the walk, we trotted. I did not even attempt the canter because one day, it will just happen. Set things up for success, and success will occur.

I took off the feather lines and halter and Blu followed me at liberty to the trailer. I started with porcupine back into the trailer because I did not trust Blu to not leave if I did the yoyo game. Maggie helped by holding his tail out of the way, which he did not mind. But shame on me. I decided to give him a chance with the yoyo, and lo and behold! It was like we had a line on. He never got two feet in, but got one several times. Seems that the footing was difficult for him to manage (not icy, but mucky!)

I mounted up using my tailgate. He was great for that and it was at liberty. I rode around the driveway with carrot stick only when my youngest sister came around and wanted to see him hand me his halter. We had several flops and he began to throw his halter away. Good thing Ellie was there to retrieve it several times. Finally, he handed it to me two or three times. Then I haltered him. He keeps his head turned for me the whole time. It is really nice; I remember what a struggle it once was.

Back to riding, I pitched the stick. New milestone! We rode with NOTHING outside of the fence! And at all gaits! It was so cool. Of course, I kept us on the driveway, and he respected that, but he could have chosen to not stay on course. I did need to use a finger at the base of his neck to support a few turns, but it was hardly there.

After an excellent canter to back up transition, I dismounted and drew him to me at the trot. Then he followed me to the barn and I put him away.

Official Records Informaiton: Blu, 12/31/10, 2 hours, afternoon

This morning, when I got to the farm, it started raining. Just as I said "I can play in the rain!" thunder rumbled. I do NOT play with lightning. I was really bummed, at first. Then I kicked myself. I was obviously meant to study inside until things let up! I did just that. When I went outside, it was warm and beautiful. Maggie arrived from home to play with Ginger. Everything fell into place once I got the right frame of mind.

I feel like there is a parallel between the weather today and my session with Blu. Once I stopped worrying about those lines getting dirty, everything fell into place. And look how great things went! Just let them get dirty is to understand what the priorities are in life at any given time--it's savvy.

Natural Horsewoman Out.

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About Me

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I am a young horsewoman with a million things on my mind. I have been a student of the horse all my life. As a little girl, I had a desire to understand horses on deeper levels. I believed that there was no such thing as a bad horse, and I believed that all horses were beautiful. One might say that I was a naive child, but I guess I don't have an excuse anymore, because I still believe all of that, and Parelli Natural Horsemanship is helping expand on this perspective.

What We Are Currently Playing With

  • Moving Close Circles at Liberty
  • Soft, Balanced Canter on 45' Line
  • Zone 5 Driving