the other night our play time was peppered with some frustration on my part, but ultimately left me feeling a burning desire to head right back out (in the dark!) to try again. i'm really beginning to understand that learning, for the both of us, happens outside of our comfort zone. right now we are both stepping out of our comfort zone into some fairly advanced stuff. so it's only natural that we will struggle and fail and struggle and fail, before we succeed. there is a reason that so many people only make it to level 3!!! level 4 is TOUGH.
up until now i've felt like i pretty much sailed through the levels... now many times when we play i feel like we are getting farther and farther from our online audition.
something that i really must work on is my rope handling skills. it's about more than just being able to stay out of my own way when i have 45' of rope on the ground. it's about NOT over using my tools, wiggling, swinging, shaking my rope and/or my stick and string. when i do this i ultimately confuse and micromanage billy, which will ultimately hold us both back from our level 4. and will hold me back from becoming the best horse-man that i can be.
very simply i have to get control of myself first, then i can communicate with my horse. use my body language and not my tools to get my needs across to my horse, then we can focus on the task. a sure sign that i'm using my tools as a crutch is when i find myself all tangled up and feeling frustrated because my feather lines won't lay nice on billy's back. level 4 is about having NO LINES.
it's about refinement, refinement, refinement.