PostHeaderIcon Reflection

I’m ushering today at Kauffmam Center for the Performing Arts which pauses the horse journey. But I had thoughts.

Yesterday, I thought about the many many steps we take to keep ourselves safe with horses. Since I’m a polished veteran now and know everything, I’ve been neglecting some of these steps. The thought of making an audition for the Level 4 tasks has brought me back down to reality. We can not skip safety steps in a test, so let me just put full safety back into my warm-up.

When I halter Cisco, I bend his head towards me to put on the halter. We work at putting his head down when he shoots up his head. When a horse puts his head down, he gets relaxed and is able to think. A horse with his head held up high, might be going into right brain reactive behavior.

Cisco is not reactive at this stage of his trained life. Cisco is a worrier. But that is not the subject for this post. I’m done with the safety part of my reflections.

Yesterday when I was riding Cisco in the pasture, I focused on a straight line to a particular post. We call this focus on the target. I reflected that this is a major activity in dressage. Dressage is very particular about a straight line. I learned this recently in a Western Dressage clinic. When I was focusing on my straight line to the post, I thought about how dressage snuck into the Parelli tasks. The original level three finesse tasks were almost entirely dressage movements. I figured that out. Now, I just figured out how important the straight line is.

We have two games or patterns we play in our Parelli world. These two patterns are called Point to Point and Four Corners. Both are played with straight lines. Transitions can be a big part of both these games/patterns and straight lines are major.

Bridleless, carrot-stick, point-to-point games is what really taught Velvet to obey my leg and body cues. Now here is point-to-point being an important part of dressage. Amazing. I need to figure out some wonderful point to point objects in the pasture for Cisco and I. I look forward to riding in an arena so we can play the four corner game too.

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