Monday, June 18, 2012

Be Still My....

I had scheduled to go to a hunter show for the mileage this weekend and a lesson with a 3* rider but had to opt out of one, and opt for being an auditor at the second. Mare-beast somehow gashed up her saddle area, and while it wasn't stitch worthy it is ouchy and right where the saddle would touch. *Le sigh*

But she did plot her destructiveness for after a little theory and resolution session that we had yesterday.  Our main problem for a long while that has been getting in the way of our moving forward in training and competion is that the mare-beast and I were having a communication problem.

I thought I was being still, solid in my base, and quiet when I would ask her to canter to a fence. But apparently not and what she was feeling and "hearing" was faster, faster, faster! Which being her ex-racer self was only too happy to oblige. Which in turn scared the hell out of me.

So yesterday I set up an exercise to test the theory of what I thought my body was doing and what the reality was. Six canter poles set 12 feet apart. We trotted through twice then cantered through.  The first time because it was new Seneca was fairly quiet down the line. The second time she got quick and rushed towards the end. Hmmm. So the third time through I focused on sitting deep, heels way down, leg on.  And she got quiet and sane to through the line. Okaaaay.

Just to make certain that I wasn't hallucinating I switched canter leads and came down the line again. I let my body be easy and didn't focus on it.  Quick, fly, fly, fly.  Came through again focusing on deep, heels way down, leg on. And the sanity came back.

Damn it it was me this whole time. *head to desk*  Well crap, at least I know how to fix it now.  Of course I haven't tested this new theory with anything resembling a jump and I won't be able to for awhile, plus I want to run her through the canter poles several more times just to solidify this new line of communication and then add a jump somewhere in the line. But hopefully this was the Ah freaking Ha moment and we can finally move foward and stop looking like green todlers when we trot the entire BN courses.

If we can finally get beyond the trotting and learn to trust each other at the canter/gallop then we may actually be able to do a recognized event late this fall which has been my goal since the beginning of the year. So until the next Ah freaking Ha moment....keep it between the flags everybody.

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