Phew we've been busy these past few days. My feet were feeling a bit heavy last night as I dragged myself from the fun campfire sing-along. I wish I could have stayed till the end but it was getting dark and there had been bear sightings in the parking lot. Yeowza, that will motivate you to hustle eh?
So let's see if I can catch up here. On Tuesday morning our focus groups were on 45' line Savvy, Circles, HQ/FQ yields online, saddling with Savvy and Freestyle Patterns. Dove & I had some nice break throughs on the HQ/FQ yields. She is starting to yield at my suggestion. That is so uber cool!! Then John Barr gave us a demo on 7 games on a 45' line. He and his horse have a beautiful relationship. At one point John stopped and had us watch Pat working with cattle right in front of us! Oh boy!!! Pat was riding Peppy and teaching his newest dog to work the cattle. Caton came riding up bareback and with one rein to watch too! Then Pat called his older cattle dog to come round them up. Wow what an incredible demonstration of superb horsemanship. Pat gave us a great visual of where we can take our journey to. Just awesome. Thanks Pat for the inspiration!!
In the afternoon Linda came back to address our entire Fast Track group! Wow 2 days in a row. I felt so honored. What a privilege to hear her latest ideas and explanations. She answered every question put to her and little Vinnie even put on a cute show. And stop- the presses- Linda is getting Vinnie a friend! So I am certain we'll see pics of the newest addition soon. Once again Linda took the time to write on the white board to explain horseanality concepts and even some human ones- called core beliefs. A very interesting conversation indeed. My big take away from that session was this: She said we need to be totally in the present with our horse. Have no baggage from the past and no anxiety or apprehension about the future. For some of us that will be a tall order but I think we can do it with knowledge, patience (with ourselves and our horses) persistence and of course time. ;)
We ended Tuesday with riding in Arena Grande practicing our follow the rail and we added the bow tie pattern. Our goal was to get our horses "sweet" on the rail. Once again my little rockstar Dove was walking and trotting softly with rhythm. She even offered a few canter steps on the bow tie pattern. She still had some gas in the tank!
Wednesday was another fun filled fast paced day. We started our learning various knots, and some of us had fun trying to do them without looking. Ha. We of course went back and made sure to have perfect practise too. ;) Dove & I took the class on Sideways Problem solving and made some progress. We missed Liberty Basics but had fun in the Freestyle patterns in Arena Grande. By day 3 the horses almost do sigh with relaxaton as they walk in the gate. Nice! Like Tuesday we ended our day riding in Arena Grande from 4- 6pm.
Ok and now we have today..... another round of thought provoking focus stations ending with some freestyle riding. Before lunch John gave us an awesome trailer loading demo with a student horse. It was fascinating to watch the horse change in such short time and to see John's excellent level of feel, timing and balance. It was also a demonstration of putting principles before goals.
Then surprise we were going on a trail ride in the afternoon!!!! Whoa ho ho ho!!! After lunch we first simulated trail riding using noodles for carrot sticks. LOL I wish I had that on film. We must had looked quite odd but it really helped us understand how to help each other out. All for one and one for all! Then we got our ponies ready and met in Arena Grande for a bit more practise. We divided up into three groups and followed our leader around the arena often weaving in and out of other groups! Again where was the video camera? LOL High five we survived! We were ready and off to Snakey Trail we all went. Of course our group was lead by Dancing Pete so we sang "If you're happy and you know it raise your carrot sticks " as we rode. We all had many moments of "stick please" and in the end our horses decided it was better to listen to our body language of slow down than to get boinked by the rider ahead. Now that was one fun ending to our day, riding through the lovely San Juan Forest. Once back home we dismounted and spent some undemanding time with our trusty steads.
Tomorrow is midterms grades! I think some are nail biting in anticipation. For me it is what it is. I have already had great progress with my horse and am totally happy about that.
hasta la manyana,