These past two weeks have been full of sooo much personal growth for me, it's unebelievable. I will have to come back and post all the awesome stuff I did last week, my profound life discovery, and dream catching... but right now this morning was good that even though I've only got 10 minutes I NEEDED to post!
I had an AWESOME freestyle session with Xena today!!! We started with a liberty warm-up, and I taught her the weave pattern. She offered to canter it! My little introvert found spunk! We played some porcupine games with a bale string around her neck. Then I put her bareback pad on... no girthiness. At all. Amazing. I've been riding the new horse (I promise she'll get at least a few posts all to herself lol!) and I can't believe how fast my confidence is riding has come back. I hopped up on Z, she stood there, I felt absolutely no fear, realized I forgot my helmit, got off , grabbed it, hopped right back on. She stood there for over a minute, and I let her decide when to take the first steps. I was stearing her primarily with the carrot stick, and we went around a couple laps of weave pattern no problem. We did some spirals around the barrels. She was listening and calm, but not quite with it... she kept wanting to go stay by the gate. So I changed the game.
To where I would work on improving my stop and go phases, and she could choose the direction. Clearly the gate was her comfort zone. So instead of saying No, being the Ambassador of Yes, I said yep I love gates too! I just didn't let her stand there long. Smile, squeeze, smooch if you please, tap the air, tap the hair... soon enough she was moving forwrd consistantly at phase two. When she'd stop, I would rub her, and then start asking for movement again. She got the game, and started stopping less and less, even though she was only doing small circles around the gate. I kept an eye on where her comfort zone was... which shadows and pieces of poo she would go past before circling back.
I kept up with asking for walking but being a passenger, and I noticed her comfort zone increasing. She'd go a foot past the poo pile. And then two. And then she'd go half way to the barrel. Then she actually turned away from the gate. Then she walked right where I was focusing and put her NOSE ON THE BARREL!
She was confident enough to leave her comfort zone with me, and trust me not to push her over it, and then take my idea.
When I stopped she had the most confident curious look I've ever seen her have.
It was like "Hey, where are we going next? This is cool!"
She was calm, confident, and willing.... after an exhuberant warm-up. We're gettin there!!!.
I am sooo proud of my girl. <3