Horsey Therapist

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Day One

Here is Sofia with her life up, in the round pen, on Day One of the first week of clinic time with Harry Whitney.

I spent much of the first week with Sofia, focussing on her responding with forward movement after I was successful with sending her mind forward. When I hurried her feet without getting her mind (picture the traditional 'natural horsemanship' approach of driving a horse), it looked like she literally left her head behind, with feet out in front of her and her head high and dragging behind, neck ewed, eyes big, tail switching, tightness through her whole body - signs of a worried horse from nose to tail.

Once I got better at communicating "let go of thinking about me so hard and take your mind out there, Sofia", her transitions became smooth, and trots and canters were full of life and confidence without hesitation or braciness. A big part of my changes was getting my body moving, going with her, helping her to feel of and respond to my rhythm and energy level. It got so I could bring my life up and she would respond with bringing her life up; bring my life down and she brought her life down.

The second week I worked with her under saddle with the same topic, sending her mind and body forward with life and responsive to my energy level. She has a desire to quit, stop, go practically lifeless when I wasn't working hard at keeping her going. Like at liberty in the round pen, once I got better at asking her to send her thoughts out there and take her feet along, she got better at upward transitions, keeping her life up during downward transitions, and assuming responsibility for her job which was to be alert, responsive to me, and ready: to go forward, backward, left or right.

It all kept feeling so much better to both of us as we progressed.


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