Oh Bother. The human seems to be a bit emotional. Last week we were playing longer and longer in different ways and then boom. Something felt funny on the right again and the human went right brain big time. She seems to have come back down off the cliff but we are now only playing at the walk and bits of trot, she says it will continue like this until the vet comes. WAIT! Did she say VET? Oh boy, I am in trouble now. Meanwhile we had a lesson with Sarah Grimm what my human calls a “Parelli Instructor” (a what?) and now the human is also being a little nicer to me. It seems that she is learning how to be more in tune. But boy oh boy, now she has two sticks when we ride freestyle and isn’t afraid to use them! Thankfully she is also quick to take them away, which gives me a chance to think. It is kind of fun when she lets me think for myself. No more micromanaging! We are both learning how to make the sticks go away, but for now it looks like they are here to stay for a while. Hopefully when the person who shall not be named comes to look at me, we can get a clean bill of health and start our adventures again. I was so enjoying our trots through the woods. Wish me luck,
Hello! Ymir is right. I did say vet, and it has been a bit of an emotional ride. For those who didn’t know, last summer we worked with the vet on a very slight lameness to the right. He would travel fine on a circle to the left, and then when on the right would go off. Three months off and some light work and I thought we were done. Injections, chiropractic and some Previcox seemed to do the trick and get him back to his old self. Until last Wednesday. I noticed on a circle to the right he was again “off”. Not head bobbing limp “off”, but just “off”. His trot rhythm is not the same to the right. So, a call to the Vet is in, and an appointment made for next friday. Hopefully all goes well and we can finally resolve this issue in time. Hopefully in time for Colorado, but that may not be the case. Responsibility is something we talked about in my lesson with Sarah to give to Ymir, but it is also something that I am facing. The responsibility to do the right thing for the animals that trust us to be their voice. Ymir can’t tell me what is wrong, but he has to trust that I will do what is best for him, and the little selfish human in me can’t see taking any other horse to Pagosa Springs. However, the responsibility is mine, to take his well being to the highest priority when considering this trip. We don’t know yet what this little sticky trot is all about, but I know we are all going to get to the bottom of it, and use best judgment when it comes time to make a decision.
In the meantime we are taking it slow. Probably for the best as we have some gaps to fill in in order to complete our freestyle level 3 audition. It has been super frustrating when going along and I ask for a stop and Ymir seems to conveniently forget I am aboard 🙂 So, I am learning about phase 1. With Parelli there are generally four phases. It starts as an energy, or a picture in your mind of what it will look/feel like when the horse is doing what you think about. So, if you are stopped and want to walk, first you picture the open space in front of you, and bring your energy to that space, phase 1. Phases 2,3,4 are in quicker succession and include the use of your body and even sticks. It was a tough transition to remember to do, and hold, phase 1 long enough to give Ymir a chance at doing the right thing. It was another challenge to do 2,3,4 quickly and then reset and again ask with phase 1. The idea being that Ymir learns to listen to my soft phase 1 and I learn to feel for his response without being rude and skipping my phases. A lot of times when people ride, they ride to get the results. They ride to walk on, not caring about how they get there and the relationship they build or burn every day. This is why I like the Parelli teachings. Every day, it is not about the task (besides it will never take longer than 2 days anyways 😉 ) It is about how you and your horse communicate, and the relationship you have. Sometimes you have to be firm, and that is ok, but you always go back to a polite ask for the task, or you end up yelling all the time. The persistent phase 4 could ruin your relationship as the horse gets more confused, frustrated and upset. Not to mention those same feelings would probably be coming from you as well. So, the next time you are asking a task get done, by human or horse alike remember; ask first, remain politely persistent and release when there is a try (even tiny).
Your relationship is always more important than cleaning a room, or putting a foot on a horse eating tarp. 🙂 Happy trails,