This morning was...slow. And I was tired. I was rather slow as to getting it together but once I brushed my teeth I was a bit more awake. I was first out to the barn so I was able to do Sharlie's medicine before Kara had caught Cherish.
Kara and I then went on a lovely long walk. We didn't go far but the horses grazed a lot and we talked a lot. I loved it, as usual. We were probably out there for 2 and a half hours. Beautiful. And we saw deer, and a turtle! (And as we all know, that made my day there and then.) Something I really learned and improved on during the walk is finding the balance between trust and control. I copied Kara in the sense that I just held the very end of the 22ft lead rope and trusted her not to get tangled up and to pay enough attention to me as she grazed not to let me hit the end of the rope as I walked. It was great. I interchanged between leading in Zone 1 and when the grass got really tall and I wanted Sharlie to clear a path, I went and drove her from Zone 4/5. It was amazing!
"Simple things please simple minds, while the other fools look on."
When we got back we had decided to do the 'listening to the horse' thing where we can mirror our horses or follow them around in Zone 5 or both. While Hope and Cherish could graze at liberty in the pasture Sharlie and I only had the choice of the arena or the empty field. Arena would mean no grass (for the most part) and she would probably move around a lot and maybe even expect me to do something. I wanted her to eat for some of the time because it was more natural and I was hoping she would do as she did that morning when I went to go catch her and follow me around a bit, maybe even go for a walk. So I opted for the field. I tried to keep her interested after I unclipped the halter but she was only interested in the grass. We didn't move more than a few inches in over 20 minutes. I found myself very distracted. I was chasing grasshopers, trying to count the flies, thinking of random thoughts like cheese.
I saw that Hope & Cherish were moving around now and then, actually giving Brita & Kara something to pay attention to and mirror. I quickly grew frustrated and thought "What if I just keep the leadrope on and let her graze near Hope & Cherish. She will walk around just like them!
Same thing as before.
I found myself focusing on my stomach ache which caused the pain to seem to magnify.
I saw Kara draped across Cherish's back now and decided to try a passenger lesson like her. (It was still within the rules)
This helped a bit. I really tried relaxing but it was hard because she was STILL eating and I had to MAKE her walk, and it only was a tiny little step, no real effort.
I left it at that.
On a side note, I want to address anyone who may be concerned that I have become focused on these Auditions and not on the relationship, don't worry. I have Kara and Brita watching over me and I am much more aware of what I am doing here than I would if I was doing the same thing at Mercy. I realized that at Mercy the relationship wasn't being put first so I know I need to pay attention to make sure I don't fall back into old habits.
If I were to intern with Emily for a week or two, I would hope to go with a new blue string. Not because of the status, or that I need to achieve levels in order to feel better about myself. But I know from experience from when I got my red string- yes it did make me feel like I had achieved something finally after a year of flailing around like a fish out of water- but it boosted my confidence, my imagination, my feel, my listening, my senses....everything. It was like a major boost in everything positively important.
It is almost like an addictive craving but its important that one works for it. If I can pass Level 2 Freestyle, it would show me that despite all the crap and all the flailing around for almost 3 years...we have made some progress, if only a little. It will be a while for us to reach Level 3 Freestyle, probably not till next summer (Do the Audition at Kara's next year too. But seriously I don't think Mercy is the right environment for someone with my confidence issues to do Freestyle. But you have to live with what you get.) But I have to accept the fact now I may not get to do the Freestyle audition.
Tomorrow we are going for a lovely trailride which I am looking forward to and I am going to start focusing to Level 3 Online & Liberty. I know those are possible if I put the relationship first.