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July 2, 2017: Midmorning Winds

There is a very gentle wind pushing me forward. It’s so slight that I’m hardly aware of it. I must pay close attention to it and let it continue to push me. This means setting aside my ego and remaining in the present. Negative thoughts lurk in the past and future.

Yesterday I put my Bones for Life/Centered Riding training to good use. Dan and Kensy LeMay came over – my focus was mainly on Kensy. I first looked at her when she was in the saddle. I wasn’t intending to say anything but I couldn’t help myself – she looked compressed, was scrunched up in a chair seat position. Her hips, knees, ankles looked locked. I had her lower her stirrups a few notches at the trailhead, this was

better but not great. I then did some ankle release work before we set out. She said shortly thereafter that her ankles felt better.

I also focused on my ankles, and did as I told her to do which was to breath out her heels on the exhale. Amazingly, Tinni was the most forward he has ever been.

After our short ride, I suggested that she ride Hrimmi. Since the girth was in the trailer, I had her ride Hrimmi bareback. We went around the loop. This further elongated her and she sure looked more comfortable.

Done, we put Hrimmi away and their horses back in their trailer. I had dinner at Dan and Kensy’s place. We then did a combination Tom Nagel/Bones for Life floor work session. I began with the stamp pad exercise, moved on to breathing exercises, then progressed to having both Dan and Kensy do Nagel’s psoas release work. I also tried some interesting things, like doing the bubbling springs and heel/breath release while both were lying down. I was careful not to inundate the two by doing unrelated activities. Rather, I worked with what I saw as being correlated activities.

Kensey suggested after that we take a look at some of her jumping videos – this was quite revelatory. I saw that her lumbar vertebrae has a distinct curve – and showed her that because of this, she could not when posting have her pelvis rise to meet her hands. Boom, boom, boom – it all seemed to me to come together – and Kensey and I both near simultaneously saw that the very floor exercises she was doing are what she most needs to keep doing.

I did not go into this lesson with a plan. I just let it all happen. And it worked out well. Interesting, the order of things – having Kensy ride first and seeing what was up, then doing the body awareness stuff. Had I had more time I might have done more planning and changed the order of things. I now know I can trust my experiential knowledge.

I was more focused on Kensey than Dan – but his remarks indicated that he was making his own neural pathways.

I encouraged both to take it easy today and used the Etch-a-Sketch analogy, telling both it would be easy to “erase” the new pathways.

We concluded the evening’s work by talking some about what it means to be Centered and off-Centered, both on and off the horse. The time-frame was such that I was able to spend a lot of time with Dan and Kensey. This was what I’d call IN TOTALITY – that is, over an afternoon and evening’s time. I enjoy working with one or two riders in such a fashion. The trick is to do this without overwhelming their respective nervous systems.

Our evening ended very late but concluded with our talking about being centered, both on and off the horse. This was most useful to me because it functioned as a reminder to bring myself back to center when off-centered. Dan talked about his desire to make connections with animals. For him, the Masterson work is a good option because it is, as the TTeam and clicker training was for me, so direct. I am also now interested in making the indirect connection, via Centered Riding. If I or anyone else is physically and mentally balanced, the same will be true of our horses.

This morning I talked with Sarah Gottschalk about how the Centered Riding clinic was a “game changer.” She said that Spiffy is doing wonderfully. And she who is a teacher recently got positive results in working with kids. I was of course pleased to hear this. This, as well as the fact that Deb Moynihan is doing the first set of instructor clinics is proof positive that Centered Riding is gaining a foothold here in Alaska. Sarah is now organizing an upcoming Search and Rescue air scent training clinic. Might it be that these riders might be interested in doing some Centered Riding work?

Lastly – June agility results in. Raudi came in 5th in the advanced division and Hrimmi came in first in the medium division. I asked too much of Hrimmi in terms of repeated go-arounds. I didn’t realize how well she’d done in an earlier session. I must go over the videos in the evening, the day we do them. The July course is now on-line – I printed up the forms. I like this month’s course because there is very little fancy footwork involved. The U-Bend obstacle, done at the trot is going to be tough, but already I see a way in which I can chunk this down.

Next: 180. 7/3/17: Farm Frau – A Tale of Hardship and Whoa

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