Wednesday, October 20, 2010
In the Arena #30 - Being here now...
Over the weekend, I groomed up Val within an inch of his life and attempted to take conformation photos.
I suspected it would not be a one person job, and that is a fact. So my father was enlisted as assistant. The mosquitoes continue to be epic... it was challenging for Val to stay still - especially since I didn't apply any bug spray not wanting to diminish his sparkly-ness. Every photo has an in motion tail and most show Val slowly walking towards his handler (Dad), searching for treats. And his reverse side pictures mostly had his feet cut off.
What I didn't expect from the experience was the effect of the horse handling 101 lecture I gave my Dad. When you have to break something down for someone else, you get a different, (really beneficial) perspective on it. I believe Einstein once said something like - "if you can't explain a concept to a 10 year old, you don't really understand it yourself." Not comparing my father to a 10 year old, but he has zero horse handling experience, so the analogy kind of works. Also, my whole demeanor changed, more authoritative. Very positive experience.
I believe some of that leadership spilled over to our ride today, which was the best ride we've had to date outside of lessons at my trainers farm. Our turning issues have all but disappeared, we had some super turns on the forehand and we were making decent circles - both directions - by the end of the session.
Val has recently decided that the back right corner of the paddock is scary (spooky neighbors with guns related) and the area where the sand has gotten dry and fairly deep is hard to work in. He began the ride trying to avoid both areas. I kept my legs on and gently created walls wherever he tried to evade. Breathing, patience and tons of praise. Basically, I was able to stay in the moment today. My seat felt so good. And both of our attitudes were excellent. I may be on the way to conquering my confidence issues...
A great ride to build on. Can't wait until we do it again :)