I'm writing about day one on day two because I just plum ran out of time yesterday. Hopefully, I'll remember it all...
OK, so, there's a girl here who's doing her third 6-week session. No joke. Her third! She's a L2 student. Three summers in a row. Holy crap! I'm a dedicated Parelli student, but this person is a DEDICATED... PARELLI... STUDENT!
Anyway... the first day is a lot of the same stuff from the first day of the Horse Behavior course. Meeting the faculty, rules and logistics, horseanalties, the cute Goofy movie about how to ride a horse.
Things to remember and refreshers we covered:
- There are 4 moments in a second
- There are 5 areas of confidence: LTHEL (leader, themselves, herd, environment, learning)
- There are 3 C's: control, confidence, competence
- The center of the horseanality chart is The Learning Zone
- Pre-reqs for Saddling: WTC online, WTC over a jump, stand still for saddling
- Pre-reqs for Riding: WTC online (saddled), WTC over a jump, stand still for mounting
We had a good discussion about what Finesse means. Baron started with a reading from the dictionary and then we all threw out words that meant finesse to us. It was a long list in the end.
Pat says to be great with horses, you have to master trailer loading, FLC's, and liberty. Hmmm...
We then talked about Dressage - which should demonstrate suppling, balancing and obedience.
Then, about BRACE. Brace. Arrrgghhh! I have brace and thus, my horse has brace. They talked about how L3 students are usually really fixing that up because they were probably creating it in L1 and L2. Yep, that would be me. If I never brace against my horse, she never brace against me!
Pat says that the only force that should be used on a horse is 4 ounces and focus.
So... how can I rid myself of brace? I realize I have to spend some serious time thinking about this. Repeatedly, I've heard "understand your horse's idea first". I think, in small doses, it sinks in. I had a huge BFO in this discussion however. And then after, I played with my horse focusing on brace. I made every attempt to flow with her on the ground and mounted. At one point, I asked her to load into a trailer. She's a good girl and she did. She had her moment of peace with me, I backed her out and she immediately took the rope with her in the opposite direction as if to say, "I'm NOT doing that again!". Say wha?? Where you goin, horsey? Normally, I would bump her and ask her back. Instead, this time, I went with her for a step or two, then gently pushed her hind to get her nose to face me. I really think I blew her mind. She was wondering where the tug of war was with me! Ahh-haa, Zarah. Pay attention, I'm getting better.
Linda says, "The horse holds the timelines." Pushing it will only make it take longer. But, of course.
We did "sticky hands" simulations several times and it was very interesting. I learned a lot about feel and allowing my partner to lead sometimes. Do I ever let Z lead? Ever? Because I should once in a while.
We also saw a demo with Baron and his mare showing "Me and My Shadow". This place changes my perspective so much. I'm a much better partner for my horse. She saw me from 50 ft away, raised her head and winnied for me. Not a nicker, a winnie. My heart melted. She also gave me her best try ever over barrels. She just tried and knocked them and tried until they moved enough for her to walk through. Loved it.