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May 22, 2015: The Peter Principle

It was a very long first day of Part II of the Centered Riding instructor clinic. I am feeling overwhelmed because so much information has been imparted to me today. Had I not internalized as much as I previously had, I might have opted to make a quick exit.

I learned after the morning lecture that I’d again be riding Peter Parker. This was a relief to hear because this was a wonderful given. As it turned out, the riding Gods smiled down on me – it was a Mona Lisa type smile, but nevertheless a smile of sorts.

In the previous clinic Peter Parker wasn’t all that forward. Today he was infinitely more willing. In part this was

because I was more able to bring centered riding images to mind in this, the second-go around. I came to this second clinic with unanswered questions in mind – the biggest one was how to envision circles of energy. I finally (with assistance) determined that it’s like seeing a conveyor belt in one’s midsection, going up, around, and then back down again. This and the image of dropping a ball into my pelvic area further centered me. I also now better understand how the horse-related center of energy works – it’s forward, up, down, back.

This time I was also better able to visualize corresponding part, in this instance, to release the ankles, hips, knees, and then envision, one-by-one, the horse doing the same.

Peter, as before, had a problem with pulling on the reins and lowering his head. Susan Harris suggested that I envision my thumbs and fingers as having soap on them. Rather than squeeze and pull, I did as instructed as relaxed my elbows – grounded them, using my unbendable arms, and with my thumb and fingers, I held the reins gently.

We also worked on three point seat, posting trot, two point seat, and sitting trot. Once I was centered, I was able to get into two point position, and in this way slow Peter’s pace.

This was most revelatory – I watched another student work with a horse that had a problem similar to that of Raudi – that is the horse wasn’t very forward. Susan’s suggestion to this rider was that she move her center back instead of forward. While this seems counter-intuitive, it actually worked.

I also learned something, watching a horse that when ridden stuck his tongue out of his mouth. As Susan and the rider worked with this horse, he began keeping his tongue in his mouth – this, as I understood it, came about as the rider began getting the horse to work off its hindquarters. This brought back memories of Mr. Siggi, who had this same problem. We solved it by using a bitless bridle. What I learned here, is that seat is everything.

Some things are piecemeal – balance and movement vs. being able to move forward, a horse faking it by lifting head and flexing poll, but finally dropping the head back down.

My thoughts here are very random and scrambled. I have a great deal now to think about. Tomorrow I will instruct. Then I’ll find out what I do not know.

136. 5/24/15: What is, is

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