Monday, August 11, 2008

Day Six, Fluidity

Showed Kristi the canter. She said we looked great! Hugged myself a bunch and then I hugged my horse a bunch more.

Suspension rein. Quack, quack, Cha-Ching!

1 Million transitions!! How many have I done? Maybe 300-400?

We did lots of Fluid Rein. I have to offer more drag and tension when Z's head gets higher. Then, relax as her head goes lower - comb slower and lighter and then not at all when her nose is low.

I asked about rein leathers weighing down the snaffle (like Dennis mentioned to Jen) and got a good answer. Avery said, "Trust the program". She explained that it's up to the horse to carry the snaffle. That it's the horse's responsibility and none of the very accomplished Parelli riders have had any trouble with the weight of the rein leathers. Well, of course. Trust the program. Do I fully trust it and is this the right path for me?

After spending the weekend riding the canter with my butt pushing back in the saddle instead of forward, I realize my horse has wanted me to know this for a long time. Sorry Z. I'm catching up to you, though. One day at a time. I'm also letting her push me up in the trot much more and that also feels a ton more fluid.

Z nickered at me like an extrovert today! A huge, long nicker! Not her normal way of doing things. I was very far away, too. I was jazzed. Our relationship is in such a great place. We have more work to do.

I played with her at liberty and worked on getting her to find a relaxed canter with no strings attached. It took time. She had to do lots of laps before she could relax and realize she'd need to be more efficient if it was going to last. It was a nice change and I rewarded it every time. Her maintain gait was great, but it was a smaller round pen than mine at home. Maybe perfect for this type of practice. She comes in to me at the trot nearly every time now. On line and far away or at liberty. I've got to get my ground work for L3 in to the Faculty now.

Transitions!! One Million of them!! (Freestyle)
Suspension rein simulation with Ricksta was interesting. We practiced pulling straight back and then doing the Cha-Ching rein. We also worked on Quack, Quack, Quack... simulation the down transition of a duck landing and doing that in our bodies. I do that already, but it was great to practice it and I found myself saying it on my horse while I rode. Helped me be consistent and precise.

The suspension rein should be straight up and the tension should NOT increase! It's almost an arched movement since the pivot point is the bit. We want our horse uphill and this suspension rein builds that. Cha-ching - similar to pulling the slot machine handle.

So, Quack, quack, quack... Cha-Ching! I wasn't doing it right at first. You have to hold Cha-Ching until the horse finds the feel. I was looking for the stop, but I then learned to look for the head to drop. Ahhh- haaa.

Work on this method in the down transition. Then work on it during the gait. Then during up transitions. Play with this just a little each day - introduce this gently for the best affect.

I had another day of 5-6 straight hours with my horse. Brilliant. Also did a trail ride - a very micro-managed and slow trail ride, Parelli style. Ok for short rides. Not what I'd enjoy regularly. Lots of rules, but I understand the "why" so I tolerate it. Not that enjoyable. I want to go fast!! :-)

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