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January 10, 2016: Saddle Up et al.

This afternoon’s lessons, the final event of a long weekend. I call the ongoing classes “Sunday at Saddle Up.” During the week I tell people that I’ll be there at 2 p.m., and I am there give or take a few minutes. I add that if I know in advance who is coming I can “prepare” a lesson. Beforehand, I had a good idea as to who would be there today. I was right, which was why my plan pretty much went as I envisioned it.

Heather, the Lemays, they came. Terri Meilke came. And we had special, out of town guests. Laura who does tai chi and Michelle who does herbal healing

put in an appearance. So there was critical horse and human mass.

The day’s lesson began with us all sitting in chairs, in a circle. I had all introduce themselves. Then I asked Laura to lead a tai chi session. Meanwhile, people were drifting in and out of the arena with and without horses. They gave us a wide berth, and stayed down at the far end. Laura was, of course, an excellent instructor who taught us about the T stance. Easier said than done.

Next (as planned) we worked with the Lemay’s older horse Kirby. I first did a bit o TTeam work – I put a figure eight body wrap on Kirby, some Python lifts, and some circle work, again explaining about proprioception and how having the wrap makes horses more aware of their own bodies.

Then Laura, intense Laura, was asked to do cranial sacral work. She looked at Kriby and aid “this, this, this, and this which relate to that, are off. We need to do this, this, this, and this.”

So for the next hour Laura, with the assistance of onlookers, worked on old Kirby who responded by doing numerous yawns – a form of tension release. After most left, I did TTeam leading work with Rowdy, then had Renee Lemay, her owner, do the same. The lanky sorrel mare did wonderfully. I was impressed by her and Renee’s high degree of focus. Once Renee was in the saddle we hit a few stuck points – she would stop and refuse to move.

The big thing is that I figured out how to teach clear intent. You ask the rider to announce their intent, say, “I (or we) are heading for the far side of the arena.” Best, too, to have the rider say this in an assertive voice. This way the horse picks up on what is a declaration. Rowdy did get stuck a few times. I need to find ways of getting her unstuck.

Lastly, I worked with Leah and her horse Zoro on TTeam leading positions, specifically the elegant elephant and the homing pigeon. Both, of course, moved in a harmonious fashion.

I am exhausted. But it ain’t over yet. Tomorrow A.M. Martial arts class. Going earlier rather than later because I have anatomy and physiology later in the day. Later in the day I have anatomy and physiology II. I can’t believe I’m doing this, but in looking at the syllabus, it appears that this time around it might be enjoyable because rather than quizzes there will be case studies.

Next: 11. 1/11/16: Internal Martial Arts Class: Moving to Make things Whole

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