When I started my position with Linda last Summer I was introduced to Linda’s token mare, Na’vi. This beautiful and spicy mare has become one of my greatest teachers and has shaped me as a horseman and instructor.
With Linda’s guidance I have been developing Na’vi into a Parelli Super Horse and have had the pleasure ridding her in the Savvy Summit, shown her at a local Dressage show and participated in Linda’s Problem Solving – Liberty DVD.
With each of these events I have gained so much experience and joy by being thrown completely and utterly out of my comfort zone. The moment I think I am prepared, and form an expectation in my mind, I find myself grasping for the skills to “adjust to fit the situation.” Na’vi is an LBI so I need to find ways to motivate he. Right? I have strategies and think I have her number. Wrong! Just when I think she’s going to zig she zags and just when I think she has caused me to become upset I have only fallen in love with her more.
The reality of this pattern is depicted perfectly in the new Problem Solving – Liberty DVDs with Linda. You can see where our (pre film day) expectations lived based on the fact that we were slotted for Disc 2 Advanced Skills. However, two minutes after we entered the round corral I knew the beast had been awakened, so to speak, and a string of “Parelli-isms” flooded my consciousness…
Luckily the clear and penetrating voice of Linda broke through and we were able to redirect Na’vi’s spontaneity back to the task at hand.
In retrospect I believe our session on teaching spins at liberty offers a bonus lessons on the importance of having your horse in a learning frame of mind. Until your horse is calm, connected and responsive, success will be hard to find when introducing new concepts to the horse.
The days that followed filming offered proof that Na’vi had “got it” as well as gained more confidence as a learner. She was able to maintain gait and relaxation through the spins and her tendency to punch on the gas through the turn dissipated. By day seven I was feeling great about our progress and decided we could have a rest from the spins for the day. Within three strides of the first circle, Na’vi, in her zig-zag fashion, offered the most perfect and fluid spin at the trot then came trotting to me with an expression of “didn’t expect that did ya?”
I have recently finished viewing the entire DVD set and thought I could share with you some of my favorite Quotes from Linda throughout the product.
These are phrases I often find falling out of my mouth and feedback you have likely heard spoken if you have studied with me.
I have found that these saying are anchors that ground me in my horsemanship and pop into my head while I’m developing my horses and diagnosing issue with my students. I hope you find them inspiring and words of wisdom that can help you through the muddy waters:)
Quotes: Liberty Lessons with Linda
1. Whats the difference between a leader and follower? The Leader is the one who has the plan….
2. When playing “stick to me” Its your job to lead and horse’s job to follow. Don’t just meander around, go from point A to point B!
3. When you understand what to do for each horsenality things will go quickly!
4. With Extroverts, be demonstrative in your body language. This doesn’t mean using hirer phases, just matching the horse’s energy so they can read you more clearly.
5. No more beige! Be black or white!
6. If you are playing at liberty and something proves to be broken more than once go back on-line. Once there is more understanding you can take the halter off again.
7. The yo-yo game is the hardest thing to teach/fix at liberty. However, its the most important game to master. Liberty is so much about being able to drive without loosing connection and then draw your horse back in at any time.
8. Try to become the ambassador of YES instead of the administer of NO. When playing with your horse check in on how much you may be micromanaging and telling your horse NO unconsciously.
9. Don’t just flick your horse’s randomly with the string. Nip them on the shoulder, or the shin, or the nose. This is how their Alphas treat them in nature and it will make more sense to them.
10. Playing at Liberty is very mentally intense for both us and the horse. Be sure to keep your sessions short, sweet and successful; rewarding the quality of connection and responsiveness over tasks and quantity.
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