Monday, May 24, 2010

Marathon Musings

As I'm wrapping up my month long marathon end of this week, I wanted to share a bit about what I learned from my horse buds in all the time I spent with them. They are such cool creatures! First and foremost, I can't tell you the number of times I looked at them and it took my breath away. So different but both so beautiful. I had to pinch myself a few times to make sure I wasn't dreaming. I felt like , what I imagine, a new mom must feel like...... enamoured! I approached this experiment differently than I did oh so many years ago when I attended my certification. Back them there where time frames and expectations and ego. But this time, I wanted to get to know my critters on a deeper level and the skills we practiced where just secondary to the "knowing" that took place. Sure we improved on our buddy sour work(pics to follow), sure our foot handling got better(vid to follow), yes, I rode....but more importantly,I feel connected to my ponies. I learned what motivates Boo is rest, but also short stints of challenge. Way more challenge than my recollection of how her training went when she was younger. Cuervo is motivated by challenge but also and maybe more importantly by companionship...mine! Really an eye opener! It was a very ambitious endeavor that fell short logistically on more than one occasion, but it was a success in my book if only to rediscover the two amazing critters that I call my own.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Marathon update 2

We are all tired. Nine hours a day is a bitch frankly and with temps in the 90s the past two days? 9 hours didn't happen. I remember these days a Johns, we usually ate peanut M&M's for dinner and collapsed into bed. NO JOKE! Cereal was to much trouble...grin. So I'm taking it easy and believe it or not had one of the best rides on Boo ~bareback and in halter no less~ that I have had all week. We have been practicing basics, and sometimes stringing it together to get a slow roll back change of direction, and side passing a few steps and backing switching to a turn on the forehand...playing in other words. Well between beating back swarms of mosquito's we had some great moments of advanced, strung together, movements. We where both smiling..Itchy , but smiling! It was a good day. Abridged but good.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Marathon update

After a late start the marathon is in full swing. The hardest part is the 9 hours! I have to keep reminding myself that at Johns, there was a good deal of lecture and watching fellow students. So I'm not kicking my own butt to much. In the times, like yesterday, when it got too buggy and hot, I grabbed one of my horse books(the twisted truths of modern dressage) and sat down for a read, outside of course with the ponies!
Changes noted on the horsey front: My babies are very attentive to my comings and goings, way more so than when I just emerge to feed them. That warms the cockles of my heart let me tell you! We are bonding on that horse and human level beyond the average "hay lady" status.

My second observation has to do with Amerika, several of you have asked if she has improved my riding skills and I'm going to say emphatically "YES!" To quote Mr. Parelli, I have had a "whoa" growing in my heart since I stopped riding Zee and began riding many untrained horses. Its not life threatening, but I really noticed it after my tumble off of Boo a while back,( the one where I had the hematoma from hell..) I reasoned it out. I self talked. I rode more, but it stubbornly had its little whoa tentacles firmly embedded. With my ability to focus on myself during my rides on Amerika, (like I would ordinarily focus on my horse during our rides) I am able to train me. The "whoa" is melting like the witch from Wizard of Oz. Its all good!