So…back to the title of this blog. I’ve had some realizations while having all this progress lately.
FUN is super important and I have to keep it foremost in my mind while playing with the horses. This is one of those things I thought I got, but have really begun to understand on a new level. Through teaching I’ve had to help students remember to think “fun” and it has really helped me remember that for myself. What an impact it’s made on my ability to not get frustrated or make my horse feel wrong.
FOCUS – wow; what can I say about what I’ve discovered about me and focus? I am a very driven person, always thinking. So, I do have a tendency to let my mind wonder. In teaching, I’ve been able to help others think about focus more and what a great reminder for me. Now when I’m with my horse, it’s just us and I am focused. I’ve also been able to remember to smile more often because this is FUN:-) Yesterday, Jesse (LBI) and I were in the front field because she needed point to point and open spaces to get more motivated rather than go straight to the bowtie pattern I had set up, and I decided we’d canter to each tree, back up, turn on the haunches, and stop. Then treat:-) That started getting snappier, so I was ready to go for large circles at the trot around the trees. Not her favorite thing, but circles are our biggest challenge so I was going for it. She immediately started sucking in to the tree. Then pulling toward home. Then pulling toward the other tree. I kept my FOCUS. Not accomplishing this was not an option…I just had to find the best strategies to do so:-) For me saying to myself what I’m doing really helps. Keeping a “mantra” in my mind. So, I kept saying to myself, “my horse and I are circling this tree at the trot and having fun”. She was pulling, I was smiling and repeating my mantra. Checking my strategies as we went along. I began correcting sooner, rather than waiting for her to pull so much, as well as stopping on the circle versus at the tree when she offered me a try. Finally, she seemed to turn loose to me. One nice circle at the trot and I rewarded that then moved on to straight line canters and backing and turning…more FUN!
ENERGY has become the first thing I check if something goes awry. I am really discovering how little it takes and how putting focused energy into something translates to the horse. If we’re circling and I feel happy and connected standing in the middle of that circle, it’s amazing how great things are. If I’m doubting or my mind is wondering, things don’t go so well. I’ve begun to really think about the connection with the horse and staying tuned in to her while playing. This alone has amazing results for me! The more I remember my energy in everything I do, the more I see how it directly affects the outcome. Super cool!
I am truly living my dream and want to pinch myself every day as I use the tools I have learned to become a puzzle solver and continue to grow…Parelli is a way of life