WOW! Awesome!!!! FANTASTIC!!!
Four days of honing my ability to feel inside myself, for the subtlest of “Not Quite Rights”, barely even on the radar to classify as such, just feeling where the Rightness was rather than where it wasn’t. Learning how to make the “soft baby- Awww!- eyes” AND smile, whenever something came up that wasn’t perfect, so I could work out what needed to be done or not done and act on it.
Such an amazing wonderful group of people to learn with, although to be fair I don’t think this work appeals to any other sort :-).
My Highlights: Riding Pan bareback for the very first time!!!! I needed to do it for myself to know I would feel safe and supported, and for Pan to feel me, my instabilities and how he can keep me safe and how it could be OK for him to be ridden without the potentially hurting saddle possibly distracting him from that. I’m not sure if he has ever felt a rider bareback before, but it would have been many years ago if he had.
Initially I had just planned to sit on him bareback. Once we had gone through the steps that enabled me to feel safe to do this and I was happily sitting there, I realised I didn’t feel OK to get off, either side. It almost felt like I didn’t know how to do it. As I was wondering what to do, Pan felt fidgety so I cautiously allowed him to walk on, telling myself that I would just slide off if it became necessary. Part of what was essential for me to feel safe was to “surrender” myself to the sensation of being stable with the perceived “insecurity” of being in constant motion. With Jenny’s support and under her watchful eye, I was pulling in all the things I have learned in the last few years with Connected Riding, feeling the encouragement that Peggy Cummings gave me last year to not grip or hold on because any bracing pushes you out of the saddle, its sort of scary but exhilerating to trust the process and let go of old “neural pathways”, and constantly feeling inside myself that everything was OK. (Absolutely NOT pushing through fear!) It was just SOOOO brilliant!!!!
Riding with the Commitment to Keep “Feeling” every moment. Today’s ride, after another session on “Magic” the vaulting horse, I decided that every single step of the way I would keep that feeling of being inside and listening. Right from the start- did it feel right to be bareback or use the saddle- saddle- Pan OK with saddle pad-yes-saddle-yes- girth-pause then yes. When I was finally on his back I had to let my stirrups down a hole, what we’d explored on Magic had released some tension around my hip joints and they were now feeling too short. And then we flowed together. Not every moment perfect, but using soft eyes when it wasn’t and reconnecting again. Trying to clearly picture our path, then “being” our way along it. It hard to find the right words to express the nuances of sensation.
Magic the Vaulting Horse – we used Magic twice, but the session today was particularly important for me as I felt how when I found that “spongey”place in myself, where there was nothing in me bracing, the horse had an incredible clear direct connection, and realised this was what Peggy has been talking about all these years. Finding this feeling is what contributed to the fantastic success of today’s ride. I felt like we are finally ready to get out and about.
I watched Jenny in awe, as she helped both beginner and very advanced riders find their own unique place inside. How to feel for a neutral pelvis, how to refind it when they lost it, giving them a suggestion maybe at first such as “float forward” or “move your joints in your mind” then encouraging them to find out for themselves what they needed to do. So they owned the experience and knew how to use their own individual organisation. Her ability to sense when the person was stuck or unsure is uncannily accurate. There were some very emotional moments as people released fright imprints, or gained insights into their own or their horse’s behaviour, but I think everyone has left with “Joy Imprints” in their place.
I feel my arena is very aptly named! 🙂