I've used Parelli's chart before to help me to understand the horse I'm dealing with and since I'm trying a bit designed by Parelli I wanted to see if the horse's profile sort of matched up with this bit. Journey is mostly a left brain extrovert (while Phebes is a right brain extrovert). 9: 11 of her attributes fell in extrovert with 5 in LBE and 4 in RBE. So my job is to get some of the right brain stuff to move over to left brain thinking. Journey always start any work session heavily right brained thinking, and ends very left brain thinking (which gives a person hope *LOL*). I find that when I can tip her over to thinking side of her brain I'm absolutely thrilled with the result as the change is so dramatic (think Jekyl and Hyde) (or Hyde / Jekyl). I'm finding that the only way I can successfully work with Journey is to bring my energy down. I'm mentally like a scatter gun....(a bit right brained myself) so first I have to get a grip on whatever emotions are simmering in me, find a centered place, then work with the horse. I was kind of surprised at how few introverted characteristics Journey has. These charts are always fun and offer a little insight into what you are working with, and help you to regroup and look at your horse analytically, rather than emotionally.
So what did this stuff really tell me?
I definitely need quiet pre-ride thinking stuff before I ride her. If I can't get her into a left brain thinking mode, I may as well stay on the ground. Getting her into thinking mode has very little to do with her in this case, and more to do with me. Because if I can't get myself into a centered zone first (and stay there), we aren't going anywhere. Michaella Walker's system involves a pre-ride check. It is pretty simple and if the pre-ride check isn't working then you do some work until it is working.
First you kind of buddy up. Touch the horse and share breath, just getting quiet together. Then you run your hands quietly over the horse beginning between the horse's eyes following a center line on either side of the spine, then down the center of the back leg to the pastern (kind of Reiki). Switch sides and repeat. Do some quiet flexion each side and once that is soft, do some quiet disengagement. Then pick up each of the legs softly rubbing and place the hoof down pointed (like a cocked hoof) if the horse tries to take its hoof back he really isn't in a good mental place for moving forward. For a horse to actually "give" you complete relaxed control of its hoof is a huge sign of trust. If something isn't right, you back track to disengagement and try to unlock that stickiness before attempting the hoof control again. I've probably somewhat muddled that up, but you can see that there is a time committment before each and every ride. Why? You want to ride the thinking side of that horse, not the reactive side. If the horse becomes reactive you need the tools to get the horse thinking again. None of it comes easy. I'm only just now getting that soft hoof response earlier in a session. When we are out riding sometimes Journey tips into that non-thinking part of her brain and I spoke with Michaella yesterday to find out how to manage it "out there" when it crops up. I was close, very close on doing it right. Just a few things to improve upon when we have those " I wanna go this way, not that way" battles. Guess what the change involves?
I may have to give up being home in thirty minutes, or an hour. I have to work it until my horse is thinking. I might have to get to bed later...or plan all my rides with a day in mind, rather than an hour or two, to accomodate what crops up. I may have to choose to ride shorter rides to set her up for success (and to keep my own good frame of mind). ~ E.G.
Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association