Friday, September 26, 2008

This will be a quick post (I hope) because I want to head out to the barn again. Two days in a row, woot! I've been managing every other day, which is GREAT for my riding and play. My riding is the thing that has needed the most focus.

I dug out my Savvy Club DVD collection for inspiration since September's hadn't shown up yet (their new mailing system, uh...) and found, can you believe it, one that was UNOPENED. The shame! (Well, it was one from my Mom's last few weeks of life, so, it's forgiveable. PNH was the last thing on my mind.) Haven't watched it yet because I have about 15 to rewatch dealing with lead changes and Finesse.

One of them was from Savvy Conference. Linda was demonstrating how to swing the shoulders over along the rail, as prep for lead changes and Finesse. It's kind of a Sideways movement. I watched, paid careful attention, and...

...yesterday, after playing at Liberty in the round pen and doing a little FTR in the hackamore to warm up and make sure he was listening, I put on the bridle for a little Finesse. (I tried to bridle from the saddle, but that was NOT working. To Cheerios' credit, he behaved admirably once the hackamore came off. He didn't take off and he listened to my requests from the savvy string tied around his neck.)

Well, we tried the Shoulders In swing thing.


I let him drift from the rail, then I moved my shoulders over and barely guided him with the direct/suspension rein, and OMG HE DID IT. Perfectly. Blow me away. We played with that at the walk, then the trot, then I spied a cone and decided to attempt the next exercise she'd done on the DVD, which is to trot diagonally toward the cone using the Shoulders In to achieve a forward/sideways at the same time feel. I am not a Dressage Rider, so forgive me for not yet knowing what this is called—half pass, maybe?

Anyway... that worked, too! It's like Cheerios has been waiting for ME to catch up to all of the amazing things HE can do, and he's excited to show me.

Oh, and Tuesday?

We jumped.

You read that right. Just a low jump, nothing more than two beams crossed over a pair of barrels on their sides, but it was a jump, it was on purpose, and it felt great.

We seem to be progressing exponentially all of a sudden. I'm feeling like we're in L3 in some spots. So, the time has come. I am headed to the L2 clinic October 10th, then I'm taping my L2 October 15th. I'm sending it in and assessing before 2009 so that I can keep moving forward. It's OK if I begin to assess L3 next year in savvies and find I'm still L2 in some. I'll have my blue string, and we'll be on our way. One string closer to Parelli Professional Time.

OK, I'm off to the barn...

OH—Shaveya is coming to me willingly again. I might play with her a little today.

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