Friday, April 23, 2010

Curosity, Goals, Plans, and Gifts

Gosh, hard to believe it's been almost a month since I last posted. I've been so busy and so much has happened it may take a while for me to catch up!!

First things first...the story of Little Stu and the cart. The last time Renegade and I were at the Florida ISC for their games, Jen Hall was there with Little Stu and he was pulling a cart. Well, the sight of Little Stu alone was enough to concern Renegade just a little bit but Little Stu AND the cart was more disconcerting for Renegade. He was a little wide eyed so we played a bit all around Little Stu and the cart so Renegade could look at the "contraption" from all angles. Once we did that, his curiosity kicked in and he REALLY wanted to meet Little Stu. I figured that wasn't a good idea at that point and thankfully Jen was going for a little ride. I asked if Renegade and I could follow and Jen said yes. Renegade was really following Stu and the cart!! He went everywhere they did!!

Jerry Williams, the PP I've been studying with for the last couple of years, held a goal setting workshop for his regular students so we could set our goals and plans for the spring, summer, and fall. The workshop was very interesting and I have a very specific goal to reach before the end of the year! I'll write about that in another post. Thanks to Jerry, I have some great tools to keep progressing a little at a time to reach that goal and I have a great plan to get there!!

Part of my strategy to reach my goal by the end of the year involves enlisting the help of a new 1* instructor. I had her over last Sunday so she could watch Renegade and I play and then we could collaborate on a good plan/strategy to help me advance. I got some great insights and I'm already seeing improvements in our play sessions!! I love getting some great SAVVY support!!

Since the lesson with the 1*, Renegade and I have had 4 play sessions and the last one on Wednesday night was spectacular. The goal in our sessions was to get our online trotting and cantering much better. I’ve been concentrating on quality and sometimes that means a bit of quantity before I get the quality I’m looking for. When I get that quality, I’m quick to reward it!! I think my plan is working because within 3 days we are getting 6 really nice, relaxed trot circles in each direction and 1 relaxed canter circle in each direction and some awesome changes of direction with Renegade looking to me for direction during the change!! This is huge and a first for him!!

As great as that was, the best was yet to come. Renegade was very connected to me when we finished and I could tell he wanted to roll so I invited him to do it but when he laid down, I asked him to stay while I sat down beside him. He stayed!!! I started scratching his neck and he laid down on his side for a couple of minutes while I continued scratching. Then he righted himself but stayed down, resting quietly while I rubbed his neck. He sighed twice and was VERY relaxed!! I LOVE MY LITTLE CHINCOTEAGUE PONY BOY!!!! And…I’m beside myself with joy!!!

I amazes me the gifts Renegade offers me when I least expect them, he really is a super little horse!!

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