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April 25, 2017: Progressing—Day #3 of Clinic

It was another long, but very good day. Feeling like I am suffering from information overload, which is a good thing. This is far better than the opposite, information underload. I have felt this in attending other clinics, but not to this degree. What comes to mind are two clinics I attended a few years ago. The first clinic was in the outdoor setting, in the state fairgrounds arena. We were doing leg yields, en masse; one of the partipants cut out of line and started chatting with the clinician. I got mad and got off my horse and exited the arena. The second time this happened was when Raudi was acting up. This was out on the cross country course. Again, I bailed. No, this clinician did not at all impress me and I would not recommend as a clinician.

I was at the time emboldened by my actions, but this was now, I realize, not the best thing to do. I would now do things differently. I would take a moment, center myself, and then let the clinician know what I was feeling and why.

I now think this way because I know how to be centered. I have the tools in my tack box. I can draw myself to my center, use my soft eyes, breathe, and check my building blocks. And most importantly, I would no longer fear (as in the case of the cross country course episode) that Raudi might do something irrational.

I did a good job of this today. I again rode V, the thoroughbred-Lipizzaner cross. Rather than using fidgeting as a way of getting her to move, I instead brought to mind the image of a ball, tipping forwards and backwards, to mind. And I relied upon what I’d learned previously – for example, the image of stubby legs, pushing the knees down in order to better align my legs. And there is also the matter of bringing awareness to my ankles. When one puts their heels down the calf muscles contract, making the calf muscles stronger. It’s far better to put the weight in one’s toes. And if, say, your stirrups are too long, your feet won’t be able to be in a skating position.

There is so much to learn. I have not at all internalized the Feldenkrais information or Bones for Life to “Make all that has been imparted to me, my own.”

The lesson that I taught – I went into it with a strong sense of clear intent. I said to myself and to others that it was going to be a good lesson – and it was. I relied exclusively in the use of images in working with Linda, who was riding her Icelandic horse. I went from top to bottom and said we’d rely upon the images that resonated with her. The alligator/tailbone worked, as did my showing her how the horse moves, using my arms as my stomach and my legs as the horse’s back legs.

After class Lucille took me on a drive; we went on some back roads of Brattleboro. And I thought, yes, I could live near here. Vermont still has a nice feel to it.

Next: 116. 4/26/17: Next stop Cortland, NY

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