Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Guest Post! ...Freestyle Drama. by Lisa M (member of our savvy team the Aspiring Horsemen)

"do you wanna hear real whining, here it is!! i had pony time today. our preflight check is going great, right up until we head off to do patterns!!

i set up the question box and a bullseye. even set up pathways with ground poles. first off, let me say that i am not coordinated enough to ride with a carrot stick while worrying about a casual rein, where i'm looking, how i'm moving, life up, life down and my horses response to all of this, which by the way, isnt great. so, i abandoned the stick for a while and concentrated on everything else.

here's the cold hard truth as i see it right now, based on friday and today. i dont think i have a real grasp on life up/life down yet which i think is confusing my ULTRA SENSITIVE horse (whom you, emma, have now experienced) and what i used to think was impulsiveness i now think might be a huge communication gap and as light as i think i'm being i'm not sure its enough and i'm a little bit frustrated...........YES, I SAID IT, the hated word..............FRUSTRATED!!

i dont think i noticed so much before because riding with "contact" makes it easier to correct little misunderstandings BUT now that i'm trying to develop our freestyle, well, lets just say its a real eye opener!! we spent most of the time walking the cloverleaf just trying to make a connection. we did walk/trot/stop transitions around the bullseye and even those were rough.

i can get a walk from the stop, trot from the walk but its always punchy and a stop from the walk or trot but i cant get a walk from the trot, in freetyle. i tried sooooooooooo hard to find that happy medium of life down to a WALK not a stop and i did a couple times but then she'd break back to the trot. i did finally get a walk a couple times and went back to the cloverleaf with the question box but i just dont know if it sunk in. the turns were ok, sometimes.

i decided to try the stick again. she was really over reactive at first. i did a lot of friendly game with the stick, rubbing her neck and cheeks and even her nose and swinging it around. it did improve. we spent the rest of our session trying to make turns by looking, turning my body, leg, then stick. i tried oh so hard to not use any rein but OMG i'm just not that good!!! the walking did finally get better so we moved up to a trot. rough all over again. i felt bad because i felt like i was being really rough with the stick.

i rode with a short casual rein and again tried not to use the rein. in the end the turns got better and once i was able to make a few turns by looking, turning & using a light leg we stopped and walked for a few minutes and did lots of friendly game with the stick. but i really felt like i was rough on her and i know i lost my patience a couple times. had to actually stand for a few minutes and give myself one of those mental pep talks. but ya know, in the end, minnie didnt show any signs of stress and she looked happy. she had even been blowing out on occasion so i guess i wasnt as rough as i thought. but i sure feel inadequate right now. but of course, by the time i ride again i'll be over it and will just try, try again. so, theres my whiny hiney story!! i'm hoping for a do-over myself. "

Lol. Lisa is the best. Honest and the best commiserator. Just the perfect blend of whiny and impatient compatriot and yet moreover positive, progressive and persevering. ... and funny which of course is the best medicine a friend can give you.

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