Posts Tagged With: truth

Was that Liberty? Plus, shoeing update

I don’t know what got into me, but I ended up taking off his halter in the arena and grabbing a flag and encouraging him to walk next to me, for his hand-walking therapy to help his body incorporate the arthritis injections. And he did. We played Touch-It all over the arena, mostly out of range of the Flip that I had gorillapodded onto the rail. I snorfled and licked and chewed each thing, mirroring him, while he gave me that By Equus, You ARE Crazy look that he’s so good at.

It was so much fun. For us both — he walked along briskly, ears perked, and even stopped when I stopped without my putting the flag or an elbow in front of him.

However, and there’s always a however, I almost (but not quite) regret it. Because we did it out of turn, jumping out of our program to a skill that’s beyond me. Not because we can’t play the games with the belly of the 22-ft line on the ground, because we can. But because I haven’t broken myself entirely of the urge to push.

When something is going well, I have this urge to try another step, and another step, instead of “leaving the party while we’re still having fun.” And after we did so well all around the arena and zig zagging through the middle, away from the rail…. I decided to try asking Rock to turn toward me. That way he would walk on the outside of our circle as we changed direction, instead of the inside. I put the flag stick over his neck and let the flag hang in Zone 2 of his off side. We haven’t practiced this On-Line at all, except as part of general Friendly Game get-used-to-the-flag. I confused him and, I think, offended him, and sure ’nuff, he tried to walk off. Then I compounded my rudeness by blocking him, and then he did his Transformer thing from 16.1-hand injun pony to 19-hand warhorse-posing-for-sculptor. (Unconfident, not threatening!)

At least at that point I realized what I was saying with my body, and I let all the life out and softened my eyes and went as Friendly as I could. He deflated a bit and walked past me to his favorite corner, where he can gaze at the mini donkeys in their pen, and I put the flag away and grabbed a few tiny cookies. He approached me, somewhat hesitantly but at least it was a step, when I got near his corner, and I gave him the cookies and an apology. He then did his half-bow for me, so I think we’re square.

Lesson Learned:

  • Pushing like that doesn’t put the relationship first. It makes liberty a test rather than a celebration.
  • If I do slip into that Bossy Older Sister Make-Instead-of-Want mode, drop it immediately. It hurts nothing to stop, give a long break, and start up again as if it never happened.
  • Be patient if it set us back on our next session. Rocky forgives almost as fast as he learns.

Shoeing update, with pictures… Continue reading

Categories: Health, Learning Experience, Liberty | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

20 questions from Daily Parelli blog, answered

Questions posted by Norma at Daily Parelli.

What is your Ultimate Goal with horses?

To partner so naturally, simply and joyfully that it feels more like instinct and less like learned behavior.

I was astonished at how long it took to think about this and articulate an answer.

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What is a step toward that goal that you could achieve within ten years?

Pass Parelli program Level 3 and be studying in Level 4.


What is a step toward that goal that you could achieve within five years?

Parelli program Level 2 in Freestyle and Liberty and Level 3 in on-line.

What is a step toward that goal or a lesser goal that you could achieve within two years?

Implement more creativity with patterns and puzzles both on the ground and mounted — and start understanding Liberty.

What is a step toward that goal that you could achieve within one year?

Get more fit so I can ride longer and more playfully.

What is a step toward that goal or a lesser goal that you could achieve within six months?

Follow through on many more sessions as the weather gets warmer and drier. Get outside the arena and explore the entire farm, on the ground and mounted.

What is a step toward that goal that you could achieve within three months?

More undemanding time in the pasture. More provocative play in the arena and outside it.

What is a step toward that goal or a lesser goal that you could achieve within one month?

Add obstacles to the patterns. Not just markers to go around, but poles between the cones, tarps in the path of traveling circles, pedestals as rest stops.

What is a step toward that goal that you could achieve within two weeks?

Three mosey+yoga sessions around the property.

What is a step toward that goal or a lesser goal that you could achieve within one week?

One mosey+yoga session when the rain clears on Thursday. One extra workout of my own. One Freestyle Follow the Rail/Figure Eight session.

What action could you take toward that goal within three days?

Try the Jazzercise class downtown. (So 10 years from now studying Level 4 starts with Jazzercise on Wednesday? Hm, how interesting!)

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What action could you take toward that goal tomorrow?

Do one of our mosey sessions around the property.

What action could you take toward that goal today?

Take Rocky that half-apple that’s in the fridge and tell him he’s a good boy, resisting the urge to fuss, pet, groom, or direct him.

What action could you take toward that goal right now?

Get to sleep.

What information could you acquire that would improve your chances of achieving your goal?

Right now I have a ton of information. I’ve got the academics covered — it’s the field work that needs doing.

That said, I just ordered a book by Bill Dorrance and another by Robert Miller DVM, both often referenced by the Parellis. Over time I am certain my library will continue to grow.

It does help to have other people to talk with about all of this.

What’s stopping you?

Overwhelmed by all the discomfortables: cold, rain, slush, mud, insomnia, stress, workload. Poor time management skills. Inertia.

Really?

Yes.

Do you see how easy it is to make a plan?

I don’t mean to be rude but this is not as easy as it looks. ~ Westley, The Princess Bride

Now, here’s the toughest question of all: Once you have a plan…Are you willing to change it if you need to?

Yes. My challenge is NOT changing it when I DON’T need to. But I get the point.

Did you count to see if there were actually 20 questions?

Nope. Useless detail that makes no difference to the goal of this exercise.

Categories: Leadership | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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