the afternoon lessons.
Yesteday and today’s lessons were held on the oval track so it was a nice transition, going from the smaller to the larger space.
Steiner worked with each rider, He worked with the less sure riders in the center of the arena, a square patch, and the more sure riders in the oval itself. Most trotted and tolted, but the top group cantered. I so badly wanted to be amongst them.
In both the center space and oval arena, he ran beside the horse and rider, keeping pace with them and making physical contact, hands on the reins or hands on the back. I have ever seen anyone do this before. I recalled that the Icelandic Horse Farm has an oval track – we rode en masse and Susan Faulkner March ran from one side of the arena to the other, offering comments. I got less feedback than most. Working with riders individually with one instructor providing comments works quite well.
Today at noon Steiner gave an Intrinzen talk in the areana, using Bernie Willis’s daughter Janet’s horse. The Icelandic was rewarded for touching and playing with the mat. Steiner called this seeking behavior. This was originally Temple Grandin’s term.
I so enjoyed watching Steiner work and talk about Intinzen. It’s a big leap for me to abandon the concept of pressure/release and now think in terms of free choice and shaping. If I can come up in my own words with a rationale for this, then I will better be able to explain this to others. Steiner had to do this, and I am sure that he’s met with considerable resistance along the way. And what do those who ride Icelandic horses do when, after working with an individual like this, they work with a more traditional instructor? I am not going to find out. I’m for now just going to focus on internalizing what I learned these past three days.
Tomorrow is going to be another day. I’m almost ready. I have cleaned my tack. Pete’s smoothed down the arena. We decided to leave the agility equipment in place. It will be good for him to see where we live and what we are about.
Next: 148. 5/30/17: Moving Forward, for Real