Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Done! With Everything!


Microbiology was this morning. I had to do a lot more guessing than I was comfortable with. And I still don't have results for my other finals. Hmm. Usually they don't take this long.

I also had my final (for the time being) lesson with Parelli Instructor Theresa Zenner. It was a very productive lesson that focused on getting Royal paying more attention to my seat and energy. Royal is such an energetic horse that I've always assumed that he would never really pay attention to my seat alone; I would always have to use my reins or a neck string. Well, Theresa put a stop to that line of thinking. First she tried to help me play the Corners Game (go to the corner of the arena, stop, and relax) but Royal was not a fan of staying in the corners. So, we tried a slightly different exercise that worked very well.

The exercise she had me do what simple: she put orange cones in each of the corners of the area. I would walk Royal up to them at a walk, and before the cone, bring my energy down and ask him to stop just using my seat. If he didn't, pick up the reins, and back him up with intention. Not hard or fast, just a strong intention of "we're going backwards" until I felt him focus on backing. It only took about twenty minutes before he really started to get it. It would only take me sitting deep in the saddle, exhaling a little for him to come to a complete stop from the walk.

Next, the trot. This took some more time, but again, it didn't take long for him to start syncing with me and my energy. Next, we got him to do it without the cones, and he was such a smart boy.

Lessons learned: 1. Royal CAN listen to my seat; I don't always have to use my reins. 2. I need to be a lot more consistent and particular in what I expect of him. Not picky or critical, but Royal does well when his brain is being tweaked. 3. I need to expect consistency of Royal and help him be more attuned with me. Otherwise, how will we be successful eventers?

All in all, I'm glad to be done with the Worst Semester Ever and to have plenty to work on over break.

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