PostHeaderIcon Just Another Day on the Journey 11-6-15

Before I saddled up Cisco, an amazing event occurred. A butterfly happened along, or was meant to be a sign.

Lightness is Everything

Lightness is how you must be with Cisco

My thought is that the butterfly is meant to show how light I must be with Cisco. Lightness with Cisco is the key to a successful journey.

Cisco and I did our ground work, online and at liberty.  I’m pretty certain that we made little to no progress.  These things happen in the horse world with us learned amateurs!

I then rode Cisco and we practiced side passing, leg yields, hind quarter yields, bending the forequarters, hind quarter and forequarter turns, ya know…all the normal stuff.  We practiced flat foot walking and accelerating into a fox trot. We cantered around the arena.  We practiced maintaining gait.  We had success and failure.

Then I decided it was time to TAKE OFF THE BRIDLE!  Cisco had the string around his neck and I was carrying a carrot stick.  I decided to use the round pen again.  Our job was to circle around the outside of the round pen.  We did really really great at the walk.  It took us a while to get a flat foot walk.  It took us longer to get a fox trot.  One complete circle is what I asked.  When Cisco did one circle at the requested gait, we screech to a stop, rest and get a treat! The faster gaits weren’t a pretty sight to see, but it worked.  With great confidence, I asked Cisco to canter.  Getting a canter took about half a circle.  Keeping Cisco at a canter wasn’t successful right away.  Getting Cisco to make the turn instead of heading off to the other end of the arena got better and better.  Finally, we made one complete turn at a canter.  We rested a while, did some moving around the arena practicing our guidance system until Cisco was fully restored to normal breathing.

I asked Cisco to reverse direction.  I must not have been practicing this direction nearly as much.  We made a good circle at a walk.  Upon trying for a good circle at a fox trot, it got messy.  Cisco’s desire to follow the round pen was very low.  Instead, he wanted to go visit the exit at the other end of the arena.  We trotted and trotted around the circle, trying to make the turn without me using the string or carrot stick to make that turn.  Oh this was difficult.  We were also at a full hard trot most of the time.  Getting a smooth fox trot while following the rail was not happening.  Cisco’s trot is big.  I occasionally tried to post. Posting while using the string to direct him to the rail and  the carrot stick to keep his head following the rail ruined most of my balance.  I bounced.  Thank goodness no video record of this exists.

Finally, we got a good enough circle at a trot and I immediately called it Over!

We had our first riding experience without a bridle.  It went great!  Cisco was under control the entire ride.  He stopped, slowed and sped up upon command.  It was wonderful!

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