Feelin’ lazy? Really?

On Monday I was still heat-lagged from three days of horse expo, but I was also determined to stay dedicated to my daily horsemanship goal, and so I went out and I played with Rocky and then River.


And then because I was feeling lazy and still somewhat clumsy, instead of getting out my bareback pad and reins, I borrowed two dressage whips from the tack area in the arena and asked River to line up at the spool at liberty. Which she did, including a small sideways-towards that we’ve never practiced. I got on bareback and bridleless and practiced some walking around, turns, and halts. After about 10 minutes, I slid off and rubbed her and took her back to her pen.

Ten months ago I had my first bareback and bridleless ride on River, which I also think is my first bareback and bridleless ride ever. Six months ago I was starting my daily healthmanship resolution and counted 5 minutes of sitting on River while she walked – or even just stood still – as a ride.

This week, I chose a 10-minute bareback and bridleless session, in which the goal was to practice transitions between walk, halt, and backup, and also to practice balance and stick handling, because I was feeling lazy.


Sometimes we’re not aware of our progress because we’re so focused on what we can’t do, or aren’t doing, that we fail to notice or acknowledge what we can do or are doing. Other times it’s even simpler: we get busy and buried and can’t keep up with our daily logging, and suddenly it feels like we’ve not “done anything” for months.

At the halfway point of this year I can see that keeping the very brief note in the small hardcopy calendar works for me. It’s easy to update – I keep it near my pillow – and without room to write details, it’s great for noticing progress and milestones without burying them in a bunch of blather. At the same time, I’ve been missing the process of blogging about the details, so I’m layering that in to my goal for the rest of the year.

Categories: Feel, Freestyle | Leave a comment

Making the time that it takes

I played with River the same way today as yesterday, with Liberty to warm up and then Freestyle. I tried hard to remember to lift the rein up instead of pulling it out, and the weave was really good for helping me do that. River got into the tighter weave today and booked along (for a given value of “booked along”). We practiced a lap or two of trotting but mainly focused on getting that nice forward walk.


For Rocky’s session, I put a cone on the gate latch and stuck the carrot stick with bag into it. We played various games, mostly involving Rocky squeezing under the bag. The breeze quit almost as soon as I had the bag secure so that made it a little easier, although I wouldn’t have minded some movement. When it was time to advance the game. I used the purple flag in a cone on the ground, to create a side-to-side squeeze in addition to the above-the-head squeeze. As he advanced through the game he earned many cookies and we ended the evening with some undemanding time, during which he mauled the plastic bag that the cookies came in. This was session 5 of our planned 7, and I’m back on the road for work tomorrow so he’s got until Friday to contemplate his ever-growing bravery!


Categories: Freestyle, Leadership, River, Rockstar | Leave a comment

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