Whew, college is busy! Busy, busy little beavers. Unfortunately beavers don’t seem to ride horses very often, and in the prevention of craziness-induced insanity, I have decided that I simply cannot go to see Maia during the week—just on weekends.
However, I’m still learning fun things when I go out to visit her. This weekend I learned this:
everything is about being able to get her to move anywhere at any time by manipulating the space. That sounds simple, but it’s not so straightforward. It would be very easy to show it in person.
Imagine you had a large ball, one of those great big fun ones that is feet in diameter. You can roll that ball forward, backward, left, right, diagonally, and every which way in between with the smoothest, lightest touch of a glide. But I found that I can’t do this with Maia!
For example, if Maia is moving forward and I start to release her off the front space, would she instantly stop and back up in bubble-lightness, and then could I take space over by her shoulders and have her rock into a turn on the haunches, and then glide her off forward, and then… on and on and on. Also, can I do that with no sense that we are moving from “exercise to exercise” or “cue to cue,” but are doing it purely off of feel, in just one long, gooey glide of release?
When I started doing this, I found her backup is extremely confused and sticky. I’ve been wondering why she’s had such trouble moving her shoulders away from a sliding outside rein, and I’ve known this is the culprit (she pushes forward into the rein instead of rocking back off of it), but wasn’t sure what to do about it. However, doing this Gliding Game (isn’t that snazzy? ;) ) showed all of her tendencies to push forward when she is uncertain of what to do.
|Gliding Game. Glider. Makes sense to me. At least, a somewhat sleep-deprived me.|
It’s no big deal, I just had to help her know that forward isn’t always the answer. Once we got that straightened out, I started bringing the sliding outside rein back into it (from the ground), and she could back up and move her shoulders away from it, no problem! Poor girl, just had that reinback piece all confused.
I’m excited to see how this transfers to riding!