Makes the air still, cold and damp. And- It makes Me want to hibernate longer..and not function into my days completely as I have planned to. Like walking my "Streak"..something under 3 miles. Or keeping my food content better and lesser ...I become a bear, wanting to bulk up in fat or carbs..NOOOOWA!
I am trying to STICK to the PLAN!
So, I have MADE MYSELF go on out to the stable these colder, darker days...to find THE SUN waiting for me! It is the familiar "Inversion" of clearer weather- that is found as you go higher up...above the dense, city layer of fog!
It totally revives me, seeing blue skies..and makes me want to move more and function.
After getting to the stable and finding the sun waiting there for me...
I go out to the gate at the turn out field..call the mare in. She actually has come to me each time, NOT MAKING me loose my boots in the sucking, over 12 inch deep -trough- of -mud the horses have made in one of the runs .
I LOVE that she comes to me...even though she has to come through that!
We tacked up twice , earlier this week...and here is another thing I LOVE about my mare.
My sister taught her to lower her head for haltering, grooming and bridleing..she willingly does this for me. (of course, she also gets a nice peppermint treat too...making her lipstick pink for the ride.
We left the property, looking back upon the nice red stable and blue happy skies, peeking over it~
I had some new goals for us planned this particular day.
I have been riding more with a new bit my sissy brought for me. It is a solid peice of straight steel with a half spoon. A Metal Mullen. I use a rubber one, but I know it is too large for her small palate.
I think if I use a bit for training sometimes on the trail, and not just in the arena..my mare will not associate the arena with being different. I am choosing to only use this one and my Waterford Link bit.
I prefer the bitless bridle, but for refining the bit is best, and like I mentioned, I am trying to define what exactly my mare finds so repulsive about the arena.
So, my plans are for more contact on the trail and less preoccupation(hopefully) from the mare to why and where we take that course of action.
I think I have caused some issues, being so lax in asking more from the mare. So when I do in the arena work, she becomes disturbed and reacts to it. It's just a theory..and I shall find out soon enough. Since I have stopped using the saddles that do not fit, she has been MUCH BETTER about many of the things on the trail that made her become unmangeble. That is a confirm-on that pain removed.
I am going to give it 30 days and see if there can be a different mare developed by a different rider atop her , in other ways as well.
Changing me to change her... I have been reading Mary Wanless "Ride with your Mind" lately, It has really opened my thought process up for a better relationship with my mare.
This is our normal trail stance below..long with light to no contact.
While it feels so good...I have become a sack of potatoes upon her. A very Happy Sack though I may be, when I go into the arena, she feels one that is not a relaxed sack, but a tight one that may not be place well atop her.
I wish to now create a different me in response to her hollowing and coming up in defiance. She wishes not to be trapped..well, I will not give up my calm, soft peripheral focused framework , I say.
I am loving reading Mary's descriptions about pelvis positioning and the horse's back. How it is my "Self Carriage" with my pelvis that creates a "jigsaw puzzle piece" the horse fits into and how it changes me from a sake-o-potatoes into something that only fits correctly together with my mare, when she meets me with her piece of the puzzle.
By holding myself firmly in place(my core , not hollowing my back- but pushing my pelvis forward) I make it impossible for my mare to evade, by changing her shape.
It also frees up my neck, shoulders and arms, so I depend not on the reins for my horses correct frame. Riding back to front instead of otherwise.
You are gonna laugh at me..but I have been using my "Pelvis push" all over my world... walking down the hall sitting here, as I write you,even waking up and doing it sometimes. It makes my back longer ans straighter, my ribs come down towards my hips and my shoulders relax back as well.
If it is the horse's back that determines it's carriage..then my puzzle piece will be ready and I also will keep a Soft Focus...a Peripheral left brain one that can feel. I need less of an ultra focused eye upon her !
In the Book( I have had for 5 years) and just started to read again, Mary Wanless quotes an Old Zen saying.
"When the pupil is ready the teacher will
Though I have had many teachers, I may not have been ready for what they taught. Now, these words from Mary, seem to be making total sense and in perfect timing for our arena we moved to.
She quotes Lars Sederhlom for the visual picture I'm liking, "the rider's role is to act like
"A Framework around the horse- rather than a load on top of him: by doing this she holds his body in shape, holds the circuit complete and transmits the impulse of his step with out interference."
So, my out door rides will be more intentional training than trail relaxed. I have made the mistake of only drawing the reins taunt for changing gears or trouble.
I have taught her that, contact is not relaxed.
That is going to change.
We had an excellent ride with intention...my new pelvis position was really accepted well by the mare...she responded to my asking for shorter strides then longer..and even volunteered a trot a few times, without coming up, which really told me something about how I was riding. I blocked her with my hollow back and seat. I had more contact then ever on a trail ride. She did well and loved it when I fianlly let the reins gently slip out, for her neck and head to go straight down to the ground.
She also loved it for this time of filming~
We finished up, went on home then I turned her out into the arena for a roll. She was too tired for that.
I gave the mare a day off then went on back for round two...I had some plans for my 5 mile ride but then, One of my border friends showed up, and as we groomed and talked...she decided maybe to ride out.
This is she on Skye last summer, when I invited the Painted Forest Stables group, to come to the beach on me~
Skye is a Quater Horse, that stands nearly 17 hands tall