This covers yesterday and todays work with Raven. Again we are going over each of the tasks and trying to refine the movements. I spent about an hour each day. With 1/2 an hour on ground and 1/2 in the saddle. Yesterday was like going backwards. I don't know if it was me or her, but it seemed like everything was just harder to do. She wasn't as soft laterally so we had to work that resistance out of her. She wasn't responding as well on the transitions from the ground. But she is doing all the tasks. I have been working alot on bending her on a circle which goes like this: I ask her to go foward, then reach down the inside rein and bring it softly back to my leg, she bends laterally on the circle. So each time she picks up her inside hind leg I softly apply my inside leg and rein while applying the outside leg alernately to keep her from going into a leg yield and to keep her moving forward on the circle. This has helped to really get her soft. It forces her inside hind to reach across and in front of her outside hind, not in a disegagement but her hips have to get moving to catch up with her front end because they have travel farther on the circle. I also sit slightly to the inside and push with my seat. All of this works together to get her to be soft and responsive. I found this works naturally into a leg yield if I want, simply by opening my outside leg and pushing with my seat to the outside in time with her lifting her inside hind foot. My rein simply keeps her in position laterally and vertcally. Now it sounds like a lot and it is but with repetitions it begins to be second nature to me and to her. So then, today when I started to work with her it seemed the opposite of yesterday, everything went pretty good, there was even more softness and I love softness in her. Some days are good and then it seems like things go sour and then they get even better if you push through another day. That is the way it is in anything isn't it. But you take a break and then come back later or the next day and find out that in yesterdays mess you had a breakthrough. But it took the mess to see it. Sometimes that is the way it is for me spiritually. One day it might seem like nothing is working out and I get mad or do something stupid. But I work through it and get back on track with confession, 1 John 1:9. Then the next day I am back on top of things. Whether with horses or with my own spiritual growth it takes work, the work of an athlete who wants to compete and win. He is willing to sacrifice time, sleep, favorite foods, leisure time etc. in order to have the best chance to win. So we do end up doing what we want to satisfy our own cravings. Mine is to be a better horseman, which leads me to be a better man and better Christian and husband, because I learn about my own shortcomings. Probably the best thing I am learning is that if it isn't working with my horse it is my fault. Come to think of it that is the way it is in my marriage too! Just to update you as to the Reis series, I am through the second course and working on the tasks on in the Mentor course. I can do most of the tasks now, but I will explain them in another post.
Until next time, stay between the ears.