Horsey Therapist

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Jumping for joy

I had fun the other day. With Kacee. About as good as it gets.

I had planned to take Rusty to spend some time with Kathleen Lindley, however Rusty has injured his left hind and needs time off from riding. So Kacee it was to be.

Our day started off challenging right at home, and left me confident that taking Kacee was the best thing possible. I needed guidance figuring out how to help her better than I have helped her, especially when it comes time to catch her and trailer her.

That part wasn't fun, but I kept close to my breathing and did not sink into emotions while helping Kacee stay in the trailer. She loads fine, but is not calm about staying in the trailer. I need to have trailer loading for any of the horses be a time when the horse does not question me or hesitate. This would be important if there were an emergency -- hesitating could be life threatening.

Kathleen guided us step by step until we were happily trotting and cantering over jumps, breathing, together, me guiding Kacee with ease and great pleasure. Kathleen reminded us to think of it as a transition and forget about the jump. By the end, I felt like my body memories of jumping (45 years ago!) got reunited with this older body, augmented by consciously breathing around the ring and using my breath for the transitions. And Kacee blew my mind -- she was eager, responsive, and willing to go where I wanted her to go and transition when I asked.

It was me who needed Kathleen's gentle clarity, not Kacee. Kacee was just waiting for me to take more responsibility for the good times we can have. I have had a tendency to ask for something from Kacee then accept what she offers, whenever that might be. Instead of kindly asking again and helping her give me a more precise answer, like canter here, not half way around the ring.

From my presenting a global goal -- Kacee feels good about doing things with me -- to being helped to get specific -- Kacee canters at this ground pole -- it all added up to a big smile on my face and in my heart.

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