Saturday, March 19, 2011

The canter - freestyle

It's taken me a long time to get to this point. Before Parelli I would have lessons and we would canter in the arena, but it wasn't pretty and I always needed to carry a whip. Not use it, but carry it. Canter transitions were messy  - I could never remember which leg I was supposed to put back, and most of the time Garbo was pulling me forward anyway.
So then we started with Parelli - I removed the bit and let go of the reins. It took 3 years to build up to having 'loose' reins at canter and it did wonders for my balance. Finally we got that and I was cantering point to point and on corners but we hadn't done follow the rail for a whole lap (steering was still an optional extra at canter). We also had not done transitions to canter at my choosing - it had been more of a joint decision to canter as we approached the corner.

So - my friend suggested cantering on the straight after the corner - and coming back to trot before the corner - and using half halt... slowing Garbo down before the corners so he thought about them and didn't rush round them. He needed to get his balance and straightness.

Well - today we did it. I tied the savvy string to my wrist as my Phase Three and it only took me slapping myself gently around the shoulders (just twice) for Garbo to get the whole pattern. He cantered on the straight - then we went back to trot for the corner - then cantered again on the straight. I did a whole lap like this successfully and then realised it was his difficult side we had started on - even better!!

After a couple of laps like this we changed rein and did the easy side. On the last half of the arena we cantered at the corner too so did a whole 'half' lap of the arena at canter picking it up at the beginning of the long side and ending at the middle of the opposite long side. Garbo was up at the front I could really feel it - it felt amazing - like he was a dressage horse! And he was listening to me and not trying to eat grass - (it's a grass arena) - just incredible.

And you know what I did next?
I got off and hugged him!

I knew when we started Parelli it would be a long road to this point - once I saw the videos and realised what I was going to have to re-learn. But it's been so enjoyable and I know there is way more of these moments to come. I am attending the Game Of Contact Course in Sydney (Linda) as an auditor so I really can't wait for that.


Cilla said...

"And you know what I did next?
I got off and hugged him!

That's just lovely, made me chuckle.
I am reading your canter posts with great interest. Thanks for posting about it. Canter is a very big grey elephant for us at the moment. Brilliant to read how well you are getting on. Pass a hug on to G from me?

tinac said...

Thank you so much for that bit of inspiration.
Tina in Hamilton
PS Starting the focus group with Russell on Thursday, can't wait

Isabelle Greenfield said...

Can't remember what I wrote in my previous comment but guess what? I've been doing the same with my boy! Cantering is not our strong point.
Hope to meet you on Parelli Connect

Isabelle- Parelli Regional Coordinator. Australia

Twinnie said...

Gawd me too - the canter!! Just blogged then read your blog.

SO pleased for you. Don't you just love this stuff.... ;)


Parelli Central said...

Wow! My congratulations!!!! SOOO COOL!!!

Petra Christensen
Parelli 2Star Junior Instructor
Parelli Central

Vicki said...

Thanks everyone...
Yes, Cilla I'll pass on a hug to G for you... he's very huggable... as long as no one is looking lol.

Tina -how did it go today?? Where was it?

Isabelle - everyone's doing canter right now LOL

Jane - yes i DO love this stuff.... addicted t say the LEAST

Petra - thanks!!!!!!!! xx