I hope everyone had fun, I was so excited about all the new things I had learned while I was away and it was great to have such an interested and receptive group to share with.
For those who couldn’t be here we did three different “people exercises”, then practiced TTouches for Trust on Sirocco and Zen. After lunch we did a short session on chest line driving, and I have to report that Zen was fantastic! We started with Sirocco, who remembered it all pretty quickly, then I brought Zen out. Because our time was limited Robin and I had decided we would only go as far as he was comfortable (the first time we tried this with Zen he was terrified of the ropes, the second time he was still a bit anxious and luckily Robin remembered from the last Practice day she attended how far we had been able to progress. She even mentioned that I hadn’t tied the ropes just fed them onto the neck loop, and voila when I pulled out my ropes there was the neck loop.! I had totally forgotten….. That is one of the things I really love about these Practice Days, everyone remembers different things). So we revised the walking up from behind towards his side and giving the Halt signal, Zen had CLEARLY remembered that a small taste of grain followed, and whipped his head around to check it was coming! Luckily Robin ducked! We then did a few stops, followed by the walk on cues to go, checking he was OK both sides. What a STAR! I was so proud of him 🙂
As a reminder of the exercises we did today:
1. Whole Body Muscle Testing, finding your “Yes” and your “No”.
2. Feeling the difference a subtle change in a wrap made to your walking, turning and ability to stand on one leg, and discussing how this could impact how we respond when we are using them on our animals.
3. Exploring ways to mobilise the joints of our fingers and keep our wrist and arm soft while doing Circles, so that we can give a better feel.
4. TTouches for Trust: ear work, mouth work, circles (noticing if you were more aware of your fingers etc), coiled python on the legs, tail work
5. Chestline Driving.
In our discussions Quita shared how she had used ear work and belly lifts on Benny when they caught him in the early stages of colic. “I raced inside to grab TheBook, oddly it was open at colic, so I glanced at which TTouches we needed to do. Afterwards I read it properly and realised we hadn’t done absolutely perfectly, but it still worked. By the time the vet arrived Benny had already started to have gut sounds again, she was really surprised at how mild it was.” They interspersed that with some red light work, from a book too!
Robin mentioned that she had suggested that Steve Halfpenny try using a head wrap on a very frightened horse he is training. He politely declined, but who knows she may have planted a seed of curiosity?
PAWS – Pause Allows Wonderous Stillness, Robin demonstrated this well when practicing on Zen. Simone and Quita were directed by Sirocco to do the same 🙂
Leading your horse as if he were a chihuahua! This came from Lucy LeClerc. As a very kind way of teaching me to be even more gentle than I thought I was, Lucy told me a story about her first client who was a small dog less than 10 lbs (4.5kg), she was demonstrating to the owner how to use two points of contact on his harness, and how you could just rotate into your turn…… And the little dog went flying through the air! Someone of tiny mass just doesn’t give the same strength signals of resistance and it is so easy to override them. An interesting challenge to feel a horse’s bracing as if they only were 1/100th of their weight, and then melting into that and allowing them to rebalance themselves so they can take a step.
Steve talked about how he’s been exploring how to refine his rotations by using different parts of his spine, and how he is becoming really aware of never pulling on his horse.
so hopefully everyone has had lots of food for thought and new things to practice at home. Hope you can make it to the next one
P.S. Practice days are usually held here on Mondays 9.30am – 2.30ish . Cost $10. Please RSVP, if I don’t know you are coming, I might not be here 🙂