Horsey Therapist

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Success through softness

I started out the day cranky. I had made a commitment to paint the garage door panels and hence turned down an invitation to ride with a friend who lives about two miles from home.

So there I was dutifully preparing to paint, aware of my busy mind and reluctance to be doing what I was doing. From somewhere came the memory of Mark Rashid saying "you get good at what you practice."

Along with that phrase came other memories, primarily those with a focus on developing softness whatever you are doing. There I was, painting and remembering softness. What a divine opportunity! So I wasn't with my horses on a sunny afternoon, but I was working on the most important things I can ever bring to my horses -- softness, presence, awareness.

The time passed quickly and easily. I tested my balance and strength by painting while standing on one foot, switching feet every minute or so. I did all I could then shifted gears as the paint needed to dry.

Off to the horses and a long trail ride "alone" with my Morgan mare, Kacee, after a brief deliberation about which horse to ride and where.

I had been fantasizing about taking Kacee to the upcoming clinic with Mark. Imagining asking Mark for help to get me from where I am with her, to where I want to be, which is: go out for a trail ride whenever I want to. Several things seemed to have come together for me today. First the practice of softness, then whatever it was that got me ready to just go do it -- just go ride the trail with Kacee!

I have been practicing breathing consciously while I groom, and then again in the ring, breathing long and slow and deliberately while trotting, trotting, trotting. It carried into my trail ride. Perhaps that is the foundation of my success today, side by side with softness. I breathed. I focussed. I directed Kacee and I kept experimenting with how to direct her so that she was comfortable accepting my direction.

I came home and told RNB: I'm so proud of myself!

On some level it seems like such a small thing -- to go for a trail ride on my Kacee. Ha! Nothing small about that at all! But maybe in a week or two, all history of dramatic trail rides will dissolve into a pleasant present.

So who will I take to the clinic now that I already succeeded with my trail riding goal for Kacee???


At 14 May, 2008 08:55, Blogger llm said...

Thank you for posting that! I'm so glad you had a nice ride and succeeded with your goal for you and Kacee!

At 14 May, 2008 10:45, Anonymous ell said...

Sofia for the MR clinic?
I know what you mean about a little trail ride alone not being a small thing. It will be big for Lucy and I too. I need to practice being soft away form the animals also--thanks for sharing that!


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