Had a lesson with Avery on Sunday. My thoughts were to work on sidesways and riding. Found we were working on an effective Phase 4. Boy is that hard for me. I do the rope wiggle, a little bit at a time. Yeah I know that is nagging. Not getting the job done. Avery fixed that!
Worked on backing. My wiggling and Cici debating whether or not to bother. Avery - long phase 1 - wiggle finger not rope and then the rope swing to activate the ring to bong her. Avery demonstrated and Cici resisted until she thought better of that. Then I tried. Boy its hard to get there. Assertiveness. Hmmm how interesting.
Then worked on change of direction at trot and canter. Avery said now that Cici will stay out on the circle and go round we want to work on quality of trot not quantity. Change direction everytime she passes in front of me. Two big steps back - two eyes on me - then walk forward to have Cici change directions. I tended to lean forward - oops not right. Leaning back is okay. Another struggle to get all the pieces correct. Dropped my carrot stick - too much happening too fast and just easier to use the rope.
Going to canter meant things are moving all that much faster. My mind is twirling! If she pulls on the rope - change of direction - if she breaks gait - change of direction.
Then on to sideways. Avery asked me to show her what we had. I said we didn't have anything. Okay realized I don't have or wont go to effective phase 4 and that is why. Avery started with the windshield wiper - Cici ignored her, so she moved on to holding the carrot stick facing down and swinging it at her belly with other hand holding the lead up. Energy up. One two three - no moverment? whack her belly. Amazingly Cici just stood - I am not moving, I don't want to move, I don't understand, okay I'm leaving! And then friendly game with savvy string over her back. Avery is effective. Hard to watch I have to admit. But effective. Okay back to assertiveness training for me.
I had played with Cici for about an hour before Avery came to be able to work on riding. Still not on yet. Sideways was done with saddle on. Oh Avery showed me how to place the pad not quite on centered so that when I toss the saddle up and it is not centered it IS centered on the uncentered pad. And then move both up into the correct centered position on Cici's back. Wow this is one of those incredibly simple and so effective tricks. Yes!
Riding - first lateral flexion - rein out to side, to up to me. Then worked on stopping riding and turning her nose to the wall for stop. This to build up my confidence for trotting. And it worked! We started trotting just a few steps then stopping. Then a few more. Boy her trot is soft and wonderful. I still am adjusting to this western saddle and how wide it feels and posting is not coming easily. But then again I haven't posted in probably 7 months now.
So many things to work and play with. Feeling empowered, excited, afraid, and willing to work on my assertiveness!