Yesterday’s a-ha moments:
- Now that Rocky knows I’ll move him around a lot and tighten the cinch or girth in stages, he doesn’t need to bite his rope, his brush, my sleeve or the air to get through. He stays relaxed.
- His Safe Zone in the front arena has expanded, although he’s still not nonchalant about being up there. His patterns and games were more consistently left-brained. He’s really liking Touch It with the random cookies.
- I’ve become quieter and clearer in my body and Rocky is responding very well.
- I am solidly Level Two on the ground and according to the new criteria, I’m ready to audition for official Level One status. Exciting!
Rocky believes the camera steals his soul:
Yesterday’s oh-boy moments:
I’ve started asking for a trot in my pushing passenger lessons. I want his easy trot (a jog) but of course Rocky keeps “offering” (forcing upon me, LOL!) his big trot (a beautiful extended trot that’s floaty when I’m not on him but jarring when I am). I am trying to post, to push, to stay fluid, but instead what I get is: scared.
Scared that I’m harming our relationship by being so uncomfortable for him, scared that I’m actually hurting him physically, scared of the speed. I’m not sure what I’m scared of, speedwise, as it doesn’t get as far as “falling off” or “getting hurt.” Is this a matter of move closer, stay longer? I can’t learn anything or stay relaxed when I’m scared.
I did consider finding another Parelli person locally who could come play with Rocky on the 22 ft line, with obstacles, at walk and trot, and I’d just sit up there as a passenger during the session. Maybe even Seth as he learns his Level 1:
That would help me with my fliudity (I hope), but does not give Rocky a chance to practice his responsibilities. But perhaps I’d gain confidence for real passenger lessons after that?
I also had a right-brain explosion of my own. He kept turning his head around to bite at his sides, behind the saddle fenders. He had chew marks there when I got him in the pasture and he wasn’t after the saddle, but I still was bending my leg back and holding it out of his way, because I didn’t react fast enough to put it forward and then his neck was in the way. And I started to charley horse in my hamstring.
This is not new. I have the world’s tightest hamstrings and even 2 years of fairly regular Pilates didn’t cure that. Now, a year and a half of no Pilates at all, it’s pretty bad. Yet as soon as I felt it come on I went right-brain, in a lightning-fast reaction of: I’m cramping, I’m inexcuseably out of shape, I’m fat, what the hell am I doing pretending I get to have a horse and ride it when I’m so colossally lazy. I burst into tears and lay down on him, until the pommel and horn jabbed me too much.
Then I hopped off, stretched, gave Rocky some scratching on his sides, moved him around some on the ground. I’m the one who went right-brain, but the effect was the same. We moved around until I loosened up and found my left brain again, and then I got back on for a little bit more.