Wow, it's going by FAST! I have only 2 days left. I've spent the last couple of days trying to figure out if I could manipulate my life somehow and stay here for the first riding course. This afternoon, we were very fortunate to have Pat come talk to us and during his talk, he mentioned balance. Balance in life, family, work, pleasure... It was very poignant for me. Balance. I have to get back to my "real" life and I can't stay here, no matter how much I'd love to. I will drive my life in this direction, but I can't dive into it without regard for the most important people in my life. So, I'm at peace with this adventure coming to a close. It's been amazing.
OK, back to the day. Remuda this morning was with Avery only. We talked about the previous day and any questions (like every day). We then discussed a situation with Kristin's horse where she tried to porcupine her horse over a large log with Trevor watching and coaching. It did not go well for Kristin and Trevor took the horse and finished the session for her. Kristin was emotional just discussing it and apparently there was rearing and fear and some dings on the horses legs when it was all said and done. Soooo, we all agreed we'd love to see Avery play with her horse and show porcupine game with him. It turned out to be a great demo! Avery has much to teach!
Avery holds the rope a certain way, over her wrist and she says it allows her to have more feel. I've never seen anyone handle the rope that way and I may give it a try. She mentioned that she believes in never tying a horse unless you can bring him to you at the canter with a porcupine game on the poll. I thought to myself, uhhh, that's a small handful of horses that could be tied then. But her point was well made - make sure a horse is damn ready to be tied before you tie it.
Teach, control, reinforce, refine.
Avery also showed us how to apply 3 concurrent phase 4's. This was effective for Kristin's horse who was only slightly impressed with 1 phase 4. I'd never seen this technique and I was thinking of times I could use it. It could be a good way to get Z to back up faster and make it to the end of the 45. She can make it now, but it's got to be snappier and it will be hard up the hill.
The game to learn today was Circle. We covered the send, allow and bring back. The they showed us transitions and change of direction. Finally, Kristie demo'ed spins for us. Z and I have never tried spins, but it's time! I'm getting great lead changes at Liberty with her and I think she could manage the pressure of a spin. Kristie demo'ed with Ole and he's just an amazing athlete. He' s a RBI and it's interesting to watch a classic RBI work.
Jon also took in 3 student horses for the next demoes. He had a supposedly LBI, a quad-polar horse, and an extrovert (R and L). Corrinn's little 1 yr old paint was the LBI and very cute. Jackie brought the extrovert, a Morgan/Freisian cross. Ohhh - he was nice! and the quad-polar horse was Charity's. All 3 were very interesting to watch.
"Positional Truth" - make sure your change of direction ask does NOT look like your bring back ask. Promise your horse that one will always mean one thing and the other means something else. I like this.
For up transitions, wait for the horse to reach your leading shoulder, then ask and turn with them.
It's ok to smooch or kiss for transitions up. I've been taught to stay quiet always. Interesting.
For a good send, send the horse then start the allow with 3 slaps to the ground in 3 different spots following the horse. Another use of 3 phase 4's. This is very useful for horses that don't maintain gait on the circle - builds a stronger "allow". It also helps you from getting emotional with an unmotivated horse.
John talked about playing games with your horse and ask them to leave at different speeds. I would like to play with this game.
I've been taught to practice 9 times of turning and drawing your horse for the change of direction for every 1 time you actually perform the full change. Otherwise, I was told it would possibly have a negative effect on your draw. I asked that question today and was told that was not really true. Interesting.
About my play time with Z... our bond is stronger every day and I'm getting more and more try from her all the time. We had pics with Coco after the instructor sessions and demos. Wow - this was a fantastic day with Z and I got the best flying changes at Liberty than ever. We also got a great sideways at Liberty off the rail. Coco shot pics of all of that - can't wait to see them! More pics tomorrow with Coco.
I watched Trevor in the round pen with his horse. He was obviously not that into it and we talked some. However, I did get to see him give a phase 4 and wow. I've never given a phase 4 like that before. He definitely gets 2 eyes and 2 ears, though. He also can drive down the road and have his horse trot next to the truck with no line attached. So...
I did some undemanding time and let my horse eat grass. We drove from zone 4/5 at a jog up to her pen. Just a great day and my horse and I had some very nice and harmonious moments.