For the first time, I got to have a passenger lesson with someone leading Rocky, so I could focus on my balance point, pushing passenger, and fluidity. My girlfriend Jan is a novice with no previous horse experience other than hanging out with me for a year, and she is perfectly capable of leading Rocky around, and wiggling the rope when he started trying to drive her, and stuff. But I had trouble not steering — I kept telling her where I wanted her to go. “How about some time along the rail now?” “We could do another Figure 8.”
Rocky was patient for most of it although he got bored at one point and decided it would be fun to drive Jan, first with ears back and then with some feinted nipping; I saw this and asked her to wiggle the rope vigorously without looking at him (and thank you TinaY for that insight, that has worked wonders) to protect her personal space. After that if he got too close she only had to twitch the rope and he would ease off. He also turns very sharply, more like a pivot than a bend, which is something we will work on in the future both with Jan practicing the seven games with me as a passenger and with me learning to do bigger, smoother circling.
I also scheduled two riding sessions with Erin for next week. I find myself motivated to get back to progressing through my mastery manuals — which are correspondence-course workbooks, with questions and exercises and charts, not just reading material — and the patterns. My biggest challenge now is scheduling. Well, actually, it’s sticking to the schedule, as I am excellent at writing out new systems and schedules, but not so good at maintaining them, other than meeting my deadlines in my professional life.
I need a Parelli study group. If you are in the Nevada County area in California, ping me, eh?