something that is resonating with me the last two days is how both horses and humans do their learning outside of their comfort zone. while staying in our comfort zone is a great confidence builder not much actually happens in there, learning wise.
progressing is one of the key elements to doing parelli and being a horseman/woman. if we aren't progressing then we are stagnant.
but progression can feel like pressure if one tries to rush things. after my last post many people pointed out that this is a journey and the enjoyment comes from the every day processing of this journey. the end is not the goal because if we are truly getting our better best and never letting it rest then we are continuing to grow and learn daily and there is no end. not really.
so how do we progress and keep it fun, playful and challenging without feeling like pressure? that is the burning question i have. i've decided to break things down into smaller steps.
- to teach billy flying lead changes online and on my cue.
- to get our canter circling game solid.
- to teach billy how to jump halfway over a tree trunk or barrel.
- to get our two line driving really solid.
to do these things i need to break everything down into small manageable steps. both for me and for billy. after all i'm learning as i go and at the same time trying to teach billy. things can get really confusing really fast!
the thing i will be focusing on the most is my emotional fitness. i need to stay in a peaceful place in order to be progressive. as soon as i start allowing my ego in things fall apart and billy gets confused. he knows when i'm doing this for him and when i'm doing this to him. and he's not shy about putting me in my place when i'm busily doing things to him.
so we will practice two line driving every day, even if it's just a short 5 minutes tootle around the yard. i will continue to toss in the canter circling game, counting strides and getting him to a place where he has the confidence to canter 6-10 laps without breaking gait. i will find myself a tree trunk so i can start the half jump with something a little smaller than the barrel (and a little longer...) and i will practice sideways towards and away while walking and trotting to prepare for flying lead changes. billy actually really enjoys two line driving because it feels a lot like stick to me and he loves stick to me. so knowing that i can keep it playful and fun for him all while stepping out of my comfort zone and dipping my toe into the pool of new and different...
while reminding myself what parelli is all about:
"A philosophy of understanding a horse's needs; being a good, effective and kind leader; using psychology rather than mechanics; working on confidence rather than desensitization; and developing a relationship based on love, language and leadership."
~ Linda Parelli