Horsey Therapist

Sunday, January 28, 2007

"Let him think it's his idea."

I quote a woman at last night's square dance. She was talking softly to her daughter who spent most of the evening attending to our little surprise buckling. He was so new and so weak we took him with us, wrapped in towels in a basket, when we went dancing. A great hit with most everyone there, and this young gal really connected in a quiet, intense way.

"Let him think it's his idea."

Words of wisdom!

The application last night was about the buckling finding the bottle nipple and latching on to suck. The phrase stuck with me as it seems to fit the core of my intent for how I am around animals. Especially what I'm focussed on developing with my riding time these days.

"Let him think it's his idea."

"Let her think it's her idea."

Today I played in the round pen briefly with Kacee then rode her. I kept in mind my recent admissions of expecting more of her than is reasonable and my tendency to push her outside her comfort zone instead of finding ways to stretch her comfort within the limits of her comfort zone. I was good today. She was good today. I tried out my new used saddle on her and I sure like it but I'm not convinced it's the best fit for her shoulders. I can play around with pads to see if I can improve things. Meanwhile, she was with me for lots of trotting so I got to feel how lovely is the balance of that saddle!

I did some steering at the walk and trot, keeping in mind, "Let her think it's her idea." Ears forward. Lovely. Head a bit high when we trotted but that started changing when I would ask for a slight curve. I opened the far arena gate and she took me at a nice walk back to the barn, then back to the arena, and eventually back to the barn again out the far gate.

She hung out after I released her into the herd. That spoke loudly to me.

RNB and I went out for a cart ride with Soli pulling us. It got chilly -- not much phyical work sitting in a cart! But it was our first time out together, and my first time driving Soli. I drew on what I've learned about him from riding him these past few weeks, and it was smooth. He's such a steady, confident horse -- a treat! I understand why folks like to drive horses. The feel of their power is evident even without the contact that comes with riding.

Then I rode Sofia, in the treeless today to compare to recent rides in treed saddles. It could be coincidence, but she sure moved out easily, and she was pretty much on the edge of trotting, really ready to liven up, the whole time. I sat her trot, I posted her trot, very little difference in her forward stride. Sweet, sweet, sweet!

When I released Sofia, it was totally new that Bo was so preoccupied with connecting with Soli that he didn't come nickering and running up to reclaim Sofia! I wonder if he was watching Soli takes RNB and I for a ride and was having a chat with him abou that. There was some rumor via an animal communicator that Bo used to drive. That would be a treat!

What a day.

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