Monday, April 8, 2013

Lesson #22: Sensitivity Training

Sometimes things go leaps and bounds and other times nothing seems to work. Friday was one of those days where nothing seemed to come together the way I wanted. Corporate world, for one, was kicking my butt and left me in a beat-up frame of mind by the end of the day. But, I would persist, stand proud and leave behind everything by heading out to Greyden for the evening. This is our first lesson since returning from Iceland.

When we drive in, I see them putting Indy out to the paddocks for the evening and wonder if I saw that incorrectly... I've been riding Indy for several weeks and I was probably just getting used to him... I have separation anxiety issues, it appears! I'm riding Atlas tonight. I admit I was mildly disappointed because the last time I rode Atlas, I had a good deal of difficulty to communicate properly to get him to move. So, it was off-putting for me when I saw Atlas beside my name.

Atlas is a sweet curious young silver gelding with wavy hair. Reflecting back on my tack-up, I think that though nobody else was able to pick up on my slight disappointment, he was. He was jumpy around me and restless. When we got into the arena, he was jumpy and uncertain with me on his back. I spent the lesson working on transitions, a few cavaletti jumps and we learned something new: turn on the forehand.

I haven't come close to mastering this move and so I don't understand the breakdown completely so I won't try to review it here. But, it is something we'll be working on soon, again, I hope! Although rudimentary, it's a challenging move and I think I over did it... it involves flexion of the horse to initiate the turn but I think I was a little forceful about it.

I left the lesson feeling deflated, defeated and depressed that Atlas didn't like me. Completely crazy, I KNOW. I lamented on the way home and even the next day about this. But, after reflecting, I realize  Atlas is sensitive and picks up on my body language, thoughts and easily translates this into our relationship. When I'm not sure about my own actions or self-worth, it makes Atlas uneasy because he's not sure if he can trust me or not. If anything, he did what he was supposed to and didn't throw me off or give me a kick when I wasn't in the right frame of mind. Hopefully, I have the opportunity to ride him again next week and I'll work on both my image of self and trust with Atlas.

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