2017.05.25: Into the Great Beyond

Between travel and everything else that always seems to happen in May, I had neglected to get some time in with Storm again. I'm sure there was also an underlying reluctance to take the brave leap forward and expand our work together. I arrived home from work and while hanging out waiting for Frank to eat his dinner, I decided that the tiny break in the weather would give us an opportunity to see what might happen. Since there were now jumps in both the paddock and the arena again, and half the round pen was a puddle from the recent rains it was time to attempt the field and see what happens. I brought Storm into the barn yard and brushed off some of the dirt and lingering winter shed while Frank finished up.
After Frank was out, I decided to take a few minutes and sit and meditate while Storm munched grass in the barn yard. I knew that he would be content with the grass and wasn't likely to do anything silly since he was getting to eat. So I grabbed a bucket and sat in the barn doorway enjoying the sunshine and brought myself to the present moment again. I have no idea how long I sat there, it always feels like eternity, but I stayed until I felt nicely grounded and really here in the moment.
Feeling much better, I tacked him up, and we headed out, meeting Dianna escorting Tori and Bubbah into the paddock to use the jumps. I was glad someone was at least somewhat close by if things went to hell in a hand basket.
Storm said hello to Bubbah and then walked out cool as a cucumber, like he does this every day. I got myself organized and then we set to work in the field. He walked a wobbly lap and I decided we needed to try to step it up in order to find a little better focus and make sure that he began applying himself and not just shuffling around. I began asking for the trot, and he responded by getting silly and kind of running off. But running off really isn't even an appropriate word, he jumped just a bit, took a little more space, and then settled into a trot, which quickly turned into a walk again. I was relieved that there wasn't a big melt down, and so we got down to work. I encouraged a lot more trotting, moving as quickly as I could through the long grass to keep up with him. We worked across the field and then would loop around and come back again. It helped to use longer lines with the trotting, and then walk the tighter circles to turn around and head back, but sometimes he could manage a trot, though our course would get a little wobbly. He was very focused and willing to listen as he worked.
Unbeknownst to me, the herd had not just one, but two melt downs where everybody was running around loony for a while earlier in the day, which I am sure helped to burn off a little steam before he came to me. What was left was super well focused and relaxed. I don't know how much their loony running contributed to his behavior or combined with my meditating before we got started, but either way, it was a beautiful session, and he put in quite a bit of effort and experimented a lot. Looking forward to our lesson and hopefully finding more of the same!
Eddie even got a short video of us working!

YouTube Video

Next Page: 2017.05.27: Stability in Time