Wednesday, September 23, 2009

and I CANNOT believe Lil and I filmed an L4 Liberty audition.

Seriously can't believe it.

I hadn't done very much Liberty* with Lil at all in the first 2.5 years of our partnership. We could play the 7 games and passed our Level 2 but its not something we played with a lot as our relationship just wasn't ready. We did a lot of Online* preparation.

This last winter my coach Rachel* suggested that I let her move her feet basically as much as she wanted when she was acting like a Right Brained Extrovert*. Bad weather has been really really tricky for my right brained horse. All the leaves and trees are moving and she can't hear with all the wind. Clearly she didn't trust me enough to take care of us.

We had prepared enough Online* that I thought she would stay with me in the arena (i.e. not jump the fence in a frenzy) if I took her off line. So this is what I decided to do. The 22ft line wasn't really long enough for galloping and I wasn't skilled enough yet with the 45ft line in that kind of difficult situation. Plus the arena is only 70 wide so even if she was on the rail I'd really have to be managing it. Of course the 45 isn't yachting braid either so if something did go wrong we'd be in more trouble.

So letting her really move around....buck...spook...gallop etc. started to make a difference. We had enough of a language that I could ask her to come back to me and yet stand 5 feet away. This was very very important because she can be so unpredictable in that state. Freezing...looking calm and sleepy...exploding...whirling away..all fun times. As one would imagine...much better to have her far away and unattached.

This strategy progressed into getting her to maintain gait and maintain direction....which is what started to change everything. She started to see me as her leader and that made her feel better. Braver. Plus, she had to concentrate to do it. I'm sure I'll be talking a lot more about this in a few months. lol

What I'm getting at though, is that basically within a few months we were able to self assess Level 3 Liberty and then send in and pass our audition with an L3+. As if by magic it had all come together.

And just this last Sunday, we filmed our L4 Liberty audition. Really Really REALLY unbelievable.

I'll embed the video as soon as I get a better connection but for now, here is the link. (as you'll see our weave is back!)
L & M Level 4 Liberty Audition 9-20-09

*see glossary at the bottom of the page.

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