Saturday, January 22, 2011

Positive, Progressive and Natural

Well friends I have been enjoying the suddenly warm and sunny weather here in California. Couldn't have happened at a better time (if you read my last post). Nothing like a gloriously sunny day to help me get my nose out of a book, or put the vaccuum down and run outside to play with horses. It can also really brighten your attitude. ;)

So this past week found me doing just that... really PLAYING with my horses versus tweeking tasks or isolations or worrying about goals. Looking at my horses with POSITIVE appreciation for where they are at in this very moment in time... and where I am at too. Talking to them about the little things that make the biggest difference. Jane (aka Twinnie a fellow blogger) posted on my blog a great reminder comment from our Fast Track experience.

"The words of John Barr keep coming back to me - 'you are exactly where you are supposed to be right now'... "

Jane is also struggling with submitting her L3 Freestyle audition. That is another beautiful part of PNH, the sense of belonging to a family, that you are not alone in your frustrations nor are you alone in celebrating your successes! Pat's saying about having an Attitude that is "Positive, Progressive, and Natural" was running through my mind and caused me to search for the article that one of my Fast Track coaches Molly Sanders wrote on this very subject.

" I decided to be ok with where I was and turned the knob with conviction. It was much like taking off a pair of sunglasses and having the world take on a brighter hue. I felt free to experiment, free to acknowledge the things my horse offered, I felt natural. The only place I could be in my journey of horsemanship was where I was… and that’s when things really started clicking together for me."


I also remembered a few more good old PNH phrases such as "Personal growth is rarely convenient or comfortable." Whether it's learning how to remain positive, or struggling to be progressive enough, and above all else staying natural in the pursuit of my dream. And another good one I heard several times during Fast Track that I may not quote just right but I think you'll get the meaning- "we (coaches or your horse) may not teach you what you WANT to learn but rather what you NEED to learn." Oh boy isn't that true.

So early last week with Dove I slowed way way way .....way... way down and took 30 -40 mins to hang out, exhale, relax, rub on her, ask ever so small for her to put her head down, or "think" about taking one step backwards before doing ANYTHING else. Anyone watching may have thought we were just standing there doing nothing. ;) My little RBI needed to reconnect at this level after all we learned last year. Phew, I think I needed this too. The result? By the end of the week we were really playing even with the tough stuff like being particular about FQ yields and the quality of response when porcupining Dove's chest (her confident & dominant nature shows up in her Zone 2! LOL) We found the path to positive progression in a natural & FUN way.

And isn't it funny how that change in my attitude flowed over to my other two horses as well! ALL 3 of them offered some of the coolest stuff yesterday EVER! Just when you think you are being positive or progressive or natural, your horse teaches you how much more there still is to learn.... and if you step up to the challenge then they reward your slightest try!

4 comments:

  1. Fantastic post. Isn't it incredible that the smallest things lead to the greatest rewards with our horses?

    I love the various quotes. Think I'll have them tattooed on my hands - so I can see them all the time LOL!

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  2. Thanks for sharing! Amazing, the learning experience from the Fast Track is really helpful and gets deeper and deeper meaning for every day..

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  3. Whenever I am struggling with things and we are reaching those "oh boy" moments, I find slowing things way down helps immensely.
    When we were working on riding sideways (with two reins) it was obvious that my communication was not effective because my mare just wasn't understanding what I was asking.
    So I tried it with one rein which really caused me to slow down and be particular about my cues and reward the slightest try. After about 15 mins of doing this she was a light as a feather and side passing both ways down the fence line.

    Sharon

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  4. Exactly Sharon! A good friend of mine made an awesome savvy comment after playing with Dove the other day. I had given her the challenge of going slow with Dove and trying to mirror and match her energy first before doing anything. After the session, my friend said that although she felt she was going slow, to Dove it was still too fast. My friend added "she needed to understand Dove's idea of slow." Bingo! Understand the horse's idea of ____ first! I was trying to find a way to explain what going slow meant - more feel of the horse, with the horse, for the horse vs just the speed at which we do things- and my friend nailed it!

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