Some of you might remember one of my earlier attempts to capture my on-line audition. (Hint: Flies.)
This past weekend, I made another attempt:
I learn so much from these.
For one thing, I did what I tried not to do — I started out too intense, stiff, not playful. I could feel myself being that way, and could feel and see Rocky mirroring it. I tried to just keep on doing things and breathing and trying to ease myself down and bring him with me into the easier place. That was good practice. I’m sure I will be on the spot again some day, maybe even at a demo or a show, and will need that practice of centering myself.
I also tried staying on-line instead of letting Rocky go free first. I wanted to try to capture his fresh-from-his-pen exuberance in the audition. We’ve been playing at liberty a lot recently and it’s been crisp and clear and cold, and he wanted to frolic. I think we would have been fine frolicking on-line if I had been able to loosen up right away. Instead, I think I insulted him, and what he gave me, he gave with a tail flick and pursed lips.
And yet, things did improve. We both relaxed and our partnership became more evident to our observers. He gave me contact on the circle, and did his best for sideways. He trusted that I could see he was stiff and would not demand too much, and I didn’t. Our best of the compulsories was the trotting figure 8. He offered a great one, with a flourish in the middle, and I brought him and took off his halter. At that point … well, if you watched the video, you saw what happened next.
This morning I opened the latest audio CD and listened to an interview about auditions with Parelli Professional Kristi Smith. She talks about how the audition process has evolved from a task-based focus to a relationship-based focus, and gives some tips for capturing that relationship on film.
The further I progress in my journey, the more certain I am about my goal of becoming a one-star licensed instructor so I can teach newbies enough to get started and then pass them on to higher level instructors for further study.
I was thinking just this morning of Pat’s saying that the better a horse goes backwards and sideways, the better he does everything else. When I feel like I’m “going backwards” with horses, or that things went sideways because they didn’t go as I planned, I remind myself that the more “off track” experiences I have that result in my returning to my “track” with deeper knowledge, skill, and understanding, the better guide I can be for others.