Sunday, March 6, 2011

Intuitive Thinking and Internal Monologue

I tried something new today for catching Blu. I had a "WHOA" sign to install in the round pen. I had all my gear and my sign, and as I walked by Blu, I offered my hand. He smelled it, but I never stopped walking and he did not follow with his feet, just his nose. While I was hanging up the sign, Blu came in! Kind of like that old "when you are fixing the fence, the horses are all over you like a cheap suit" scenario. The funny thing is, when I was leaving the gate open, I thought, "If he doesn't want to be in here, then I need to try something new to make this a place he would want to be." It made me really happy that he came in--I am on to something! Okay, fine. Actually it was just a very humbling experience. Anytime that things go right, it is humbling.

After I was done tying up the red WHOA sign on the eastern point of the round pen, I shut the gate and Blu followed me back and forth. I stood with him for a grooming him with my hands and massaging. We do so much standing still. I don't know what he is thinking when we are standing there. It used to be difficult for me to do nothing with the horses. I didn't have any trouble doing it, but I was not enjoying it. I was itching to do something. I was fighting with myself not to reach out. I was belittling myself when they were not doing things one might perceive as positive. One thing I have learned over the years is that this internal dialogue is far too self-centered. These quiet times need to be about absorbing what is around me. There must be an end to the constant output of the mind.

It is still in the works, this quieting the noise. I am a Christian, and it is much the same as trying to have quiet time with God--a time during which I struggle with shutting down my inner monologue and finding peace. I think it is a sign of a natural selfcentricity or solipsistic perspective. Maybe it is a sign of being alive. Perhaps we all have it a bit, but I could not know what goes on in the minds of others. At any rate, my personal journey towards becoming part of what is around me instead of forcing what is around me to assimilate into something that fits to me.

I began to move Blu around. Right now, our liberty has taken steps back. We are not at the same level we once were in some things. That's because somewhere along the way, we lost bits and pieces of our relationship. Like a house built on sand, things have begun to slide into the ocean. So, as we build back the foundation of friendship, things of the past--maneuvers and skills--are resurfacing like great relics from the depths of the sea.

I did stick to me on the rail the way that I saw Pat Parelli do in DVD I watched the other day. Of course I have done it before with Blu on countless occasions, but for the sake of creating a visual picture: I am on the inside of the circle and the horse is on the rail next to me. As I walk, the stick drags behind me and when I stop and back up, I let it stop and drag in front of me. At first, I went very slowly. If Blu did not keep up or if he did not back up, I would use the stick to do more than a suggestion. We were doing longer periods of a consistent walk. Blu was not stopping or backing with lightness. I tried stopping more frequently, as in taking fewer strides before stopping. Suddenly, it clicked with us both and he was getting lighter--more importantly, his face was staying soft. I took it up to the trot and back up and it was amazing. Then the canter. When he stopped and backed up out of the canter with complete sync with myself, I knew this was the place to stop with that game. One canter. It was a bit of a leap forward in my self control to stop with just one canter-back up transition.

Then we played the circling game. Blu was shooting off at the yo yo out. I let him be and waited for questions. When he would ask, I would invite him in. If he chose not to come, I would just as gently send him on again. He began to come into my back. I thought of how good that was, that it was a sign of trust for him to want to come in. I also noted that he did not feel safe coming to the front of me. I let him stand by me, not touching him, then I would send him off again. Then he began to circle close to me. He would make an orbit around me that swung in close to my back and slung away from me to cross the front. He even began to canter around and came flying past my shoulder--so close I felt the hair on his upper arm brush the back of my hand. I had an idea to turn with him so he could stay close in a full circle. It worked. I did a sort of approach and retreat by turning a circle then stopping and letting him cross in front of me. Little by little, he began to make a circle uniformly close to me.

I don't really know how those ideas come to me. It is intuition driven by knowledge and experience, I guess. It comes without much beckoning. But that makes it hard for me to plan and to feel like I know what I'm doing. Knowing what I'm doing gives me confidence. I am wondering if the next part of the journey is getting my intuition out into my control so I know what I am doing . . . or if it is becoming confident not knowing what will happen next.

Natural Horsewoman Out

1 comment:

  1. could you further explain becoming part of your surroundings? :)


About Me

My photo
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