I took a two hour lesson with Kelly this past Sunday. Found out the what I thought was Cici being unconfident after I asked for something, and therefore was giving her lots of time to digest is really her dominance and Kelly said she (Cici) is blowing me off. Oh Boy did I ever read that wrong. So the lesson was an assertiveness training session for me and an attitude adjustment for Cici. We are both working fine now.
Circling Game fixed. Backing is a work in progress. Kelly commented that Cici has very tense "nono muscles" and that I should massage them. Nono muscles are the ones on either side of her pole that when she says, "No I'm not going to do that" and raises her head are engaged! We even did a bit of sideways. Holy cow! Opps oh boy!
I had asked Kelly to bring a Parelli saddle so I could ride in one and see the difference. She brought hers. Duh. To say it was big, huge, humongous on Cici does not even begin to describe it. Kind of like huge saddle with a head and tail sticking out. Kelly is tall and her horse is apparently some enormous warmblood. When I say the girth she had, and the saddle has long billets, I quickly got out my 20" dressage girth.
It was incredible to ride in. Put me completely on my balance point. And when I first got on it - it felt like I was riding on a bareback pad. The tree is soooo wide, the literature says Parelli regular is 7x wider than an regular saddle's wide. And I have a wide saddle. Their extra wide, which is what Kelly had, was like - no words to describe it other to say that the next morning when I woke up my hips were not happy. Nothing that 2 Advils could not cure.
Rode Cici with the rope halter and carrot stick. Direct rein with support from the carrot stick - driving supporting porcupine. Cici was quiet with no resistance after the first carrot stick touch her face experience. And then after that no head tossing, just quiet turns. After a while I just had to see what riding with the bridle would bring. The same.
Oh and I learned how to fix the slow one step drift from the mounting block. Kelly said again a dominance thing. So there had to be consequences. And there were. When I got home and rode on Monday I only had to tap her on her butt once and was able to mount quietly. Hmmmm how interesting.