Hey everyone, it’s been a while again, but nonetheless I‘ve been busy, very busy.
But I made a promise to myself that I would spend all the free time I can find with the horses so today the sun was shining and I thought I couldn’t let this chance go by and went to get Fresco out of the pasture.
It has been so long since we did anything together. Not that he minds, he is after all LBI but he did give me this look every now and then as if he was asking, we do’ing anything?
So I did my best not to go out there assuming anything, it would be so easy to do that.
For example, it has been so long, I’ll probably have to start from scratch or he knows this stuff and should respond.
No I went out there with the intention of really feeling his mood and his slightest tension.
Because one thing I am really learning now that I’m teaching others natural horsemanship, and playing with other horses in level 1 is that I sometimes do not fully respect Fresco’s emotions anymore, again because I assume too much and I’m so used to his expressions that I don’t really read him the way I should.
And isn’t it funny that we all seem to do that in human relationships too? You start to take your partner for granted after a while and don’t stop to think about what they feel or think at the times that they really need you.
With a new horse on the contrary, I’m checking out everything, every little move or twitch, I’m feeling my way through the horsenalities and their mood.
So today I did that with fresco again, the way it is supposed to go and it was a huge eye opener. It has been a while since he blew that much, licked his lips that many times and had the right balance between exuberance and calmness.
At a certain stage I even had Goosebumps when looking at him, it all felt absolutely right.
After our play session, which was not demanding but yet fabulous, we went out on a trail ride and I cannot remember ever having had this sense of union and enjoyment on a ride with him. It was like heaven! I even shed a little tear at a certain point, it was pure bliss.
He was a bit nervous at first but again I really focused on feeling him and using the right strategy for his energy at that specific time.
I also focused on relaxing every single muscle in my body, going with the flow without getting in his way, and enjoying the scenery and the sun.
When I let my energy come up he softly went into a trot, when I did it again, he went into this lovely soft canter and when I lowered my energy he got back through a trot to a walk.
It was pure unity.
The second time I asked for a trot he started cantering but this time pretty fast, so I got an adrenaline rush and really pushed him to go faster and faster and by doing that I caught his attention and he went down again to a trot. Fabulous this strategy, but not easy at all, especially if you are a bit afraid (which I was every single time he did that before).
The poor guy was pretty exhausted, being completely out of shape (me too btw ) so we stopped at the Jesus statue on top of the mountain. Here’s a cool pick of Fresco looking up at Jesus. And another pic from the ride.
And while heading back home, I focused on feeling again and my guts told me to close my eyes, so I did.
After doing this I now realize that this is an exercise that everyone should do when they start riding, riding with your eyes closed.
It is much harder than I thought, I constantly felt out of balance and I couldn’t do it without relaxing 100% because otherwise my body would shift from the slightest movement from Fresco.
So now I realize how damn dependent we are of our eyes, we really anticipate by seeing.
And that is why our muscles get tight, it’s because we see something and we anticipate (assume).
It’s like this statement I heard once, if you are sleeping in a car when an accident happens, you are more likely to have no injuries than someone that sees the accident coming and tightens all of his muscles.
It also makes much more sense now that blind people have their other senses heightened. I couldn’t ride with my eyes closed unless I really felt my horse, and I could even feel when we were walking through a shadow spot or when we were in the sun, I could smell everything more clearly and I could hear everything better.
So if you are up to it, and you are confident enough, I challenge you to ride with your eyes closed, not for 1 minute, but really as long as you can stand. It doesn’t even matter what your horse does because the more your body is relaxed, the easier you will be able to follow his movements. I’ve never felt more anchored and safe on my horse than while closing my eyes.
So that’s it for today folks, tomorrow I’m welcoming another guest horse at our place and I want to play with farina as well so if there is time left, and if I learnt a valuable lesson, I’ll make sure to keep you updated!
Oh I didn’t even show you the marvelous picture that Claire Spelling took of Fresco while we were in the UK, here it is, isn’t he gorgeous?
Go check out her website she really has tons of other beautiful pictures: http://images.clairespelling.com/
So dear readers, please do let me know if you found this post useful, interesting or just plain boring! I’d love to know what you think.
And if you try out the closed eyes strategy, let me know how it went!