Thursday, March 25, 2010

Moving Beyond Comfortable – Part 1

Lakota and I took our first riding lesson with Deb yesterday. The sun burned off the clouds and it turned into such a beautiful day.

I have a goal this year. I want to canter freely on my horse. We have issues here ~ Lakota and I. She gets anxious and bothered with speed. If you ask her to transition up from the walk to a trot she might get anxious. But if you ask her to move close to the fence, in order to stay on the circle that she has been repeating at a walk ~~ that is too much. She cannot be corrected and asked to trot at the same time. She gets bothered.

Lakota has copped an attitude. You can tell by reading her signals. First, she pins her ears, then her tail sticks straight out, her movements get stiff and jerky. Even in the beginning, as we start out with ground work, when Deb asked her to transition up to a trot, Lakota tossed her head and showed us that she was not with the program.

I am standing in the middle of the ring watching Deb ride my horse. Deb is talking to me as she rides circles around me. She tells me that she is going to hold Lakota here till she sees a change of attitude. Even the smallest attempt on the horse’s part will result in Deb immediately letting go of any and all pressure.

“Making the wrong thing difficult and the right thing easy” was the mantra of a Natural Horsemanship legend, Bill Dorrance. Lakota is learning that copping an attitude is not acceptable and there will be immediate relief if she makes the slightest attempt to sweeten up. She is a quick learner, plus for those of you who do not know her, she is a very sweet horse.

Our goal is to help her gain the confidence and trust to accept our cues.

Now, at this point I must tell you, that this is my journey as well.

To be continued……..

* annette

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