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March 14, 2015: Dick, Jokla, and Karmen

Dick called at noon; he said that he was wondering about our original plan, which was to do a Saturday lesson. I paused because I had to consider this. I had a lot of work to do. It was cold. I’d have to go over there because the lesson coincided with a dinner invite. On the other hand, the sun was shining. I’m also fond of Jokla and Karmen. And Dick – he’s good at picking up on what he’s being taught, and very quick to acknowledge that we’re making progress on all fronts.

I usually put together a lesson plan and stick to it. I didn’t do this, this time around because I got lazy. So I instead decided to wing it. This was maybe a good thing because I learned that I can

get by in working with Dick and his mares if I put together and execute a plan off the top of my head. But on the other hand, this lesson affirmed what I already knew, which is that the lessons will be that much better if I have first given some serious thought to what we’re going to do. This includes doing research first, and as well, just sitting down and thinking about the ins and outs of all that will be required of me, Dick, and Jokla. So in the future, this is what I’ll do.

I would have been more mentally flexible if it had been warmer out. And it would have been warmer out if before leaving, Pete and I hadn’t first taken Tinni and Hrimmi out. My theory is that cold weather slows the speed at which the blood flows, making one more inflexible than they might normally be.

We began by doing body work on Jokla – carrot stretches first. She was still on her left side, but not as bad as previously. We also did some TTouch work on her. I’d left my body wraps on the porch so we didn’t use them. In order to access the body wraps, I’d have had to first cross some ice overflow. (Dick’s automatic horse waterer had overflowed). I was reluctant to do this because it was slippery. (I was wearing my Steiger mukluks.) We next did some body work on Jokla. She was relaxed to begin with, and even more relaxed after we did the TTouches. That is, until we put a saddle on her and tightened the girth. She then became agitated. Dick finally got on her – she wasn’t up for this – she started kicking her belly and tossing her head. Dick rode her with me giving her directives for a longer period of time than I thought he would. Jokla got more focused as time went on. We finally called it good when she stopped nicely when asked.

Dick and I then got Karmen ready for a lesson, by first doing body work on her and then saddling her up. This went really well – Dick was soon riding her with no reins – and she was moving in a very relaxed fashion. I do not know if she’ll maintain the same attitude when out on the trail. We’ll see when the weather warms up.

It was bloody cold out. And we worked for three hours straight. I later told Dick that in both instances, the horses got increasingly more relaxed. They were also more receptive to cues and not expending energy in a witless fashion. We’ll see how things go when the weather get warmer. I’m also going to spend more time lesson planning prior to upcoming lessons.

Next: 70. 3/15/15: Too Much Weather

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