Horsey Therapist

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Staying connected, and saddles

I paid very close attention to myself yesterday during some pre-ride groundwork, to make sure that I stayed mentally attuned to Sofia regardless of what she did. What a great practice, and not unlike what I would like to be doing more and more with my human relationships, staying available even when something upsets the other person sufficiently to trigger a disconnect.

Sofia and I made progress with bringing our energies up together and without so much bother. It does bother her! But she was less bothered after some time doing this together than at the start. I took care not to ask too much all at once, and took special care to stay focussed mentally on being there with her even when she got bothered, shaking her head and neck and bouncing around.

It sure reminds me of how she looks when Herr Meister Bo the Pony Bossman drives her around. And I'm making my best effort to invite her to join me with more energy, NOT drive her! I hope she figures out the difference. I hope I figure out how to clearly offer her a different feel. I figure I must be doing it right some of the time because indeed she's showing me we can trot off together with some life and some relaxation.

Our riding is getting much better, too. I will be experimenting with saddles because yesterday I rode her in my Torsion treeless ( and was it the saddle? I don't know, but I do know that she moved out really smoothly and with life and without bother while I was riding her. Another difference yesterday besides the saddle change was the good connection made and maintained during groundwork.

I played with Bo yesterday, too. And rode him, also in the Torsion treeless. I'm starting from the beginning with him: leading up freely in groundwork; matching my tempo with his, looking for him to match my energy level with his; reviewing standing still for mounting, responding to my life coming up, turning from a suggestion, stopping when I set his feet if he doesn't stop from my seat; going with him for awhile then adding in some direction requests. I rode longer than I have before, about a 15 minute ride including four or five dismounts and remounting.

Bo is becoming less agitated when separated from Sofia, like when I bring her into the barn and leave him out with the herd, or when I bring her to the arena and leave him in the paddock. It is nice to witness. I still think Sofia volunteers to come with me so quickly because she wants some time away from him. He is relentless with his directing her actions and keeping her away from the other horses! Phew! I know I'd want a break from that!


At 24 January, 2007 21:26, Blogger ZinniaZ said...

you have mentioned dismounting and remounting a few times-- can you tell me why you do this? In the post about Rusty, it seemed almost to serve as a paragraph break! Each piece of the ride was a narrative seperated by these dismounted spaces. Is that what it is? I am full of curiosity today!


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