06.09.21: Blind Leading the Blind

Yesterday started out like most others, though it was not near so cold as it has been. No frost was a bit of a break, but it was still quite chilly however.

Remudas were good, Tina was our leader and we had good discussions on posture and balance relating to the martial arts things that we watched the day before.

Classroom began and only ran for about an hour. Rachel was doing the discussion for the day, on the Parelli Formula. Rapport, Respect, Flexion, Impulsion were all broken down into each component so that we could understand what made them up, and how to grow through them, as well as correct problems as they arise by retreating down the ladder again.

We did another communication simulation working with each other while blindfolded. I recalled doing this exercise the previous year, though Alain made it tougher by allowing us to only use our carrot sticks. This time, we were not limited to that, though we still were not allowed to talk. Nic and I paired up and he blindfolded me first and led me through the volleyball court, and then to the fire ring, where he slowly had me stand up on the bench and then walk backwards. I was actually very comfortable the entire time, even though the bench wanted to shift now and then. As I was walking on the bench, he held one of my hands for support, and then guided me with the other hand. We switched after that, and I guided him to the logs near the pond and had him sit down on one, and then put his leg over, and then swing over and slide down the other side. The far side was a longer drop than the near side, so it was more of a challenge. I led him across some pretty rough ground and headed over to a box and had him sit down on it, and by then everyone else was finishing up so we headed back inside. We happened to see Damara and Matej working with the savvy string looped around Matej’s neck and we were teasing them about leading each other around on a leash since they’re a couple.

We returned to the seat builders for another exercise working on just how important our balance point is to balance. An instructor stood at the front of the seat builder and using a savvy string, they demonstrated how easy it was to pull us over if we were not in the correct position. Every position except sitting deep on you balance point with your arms bent brought your body heavily forward. We then worked on the seat builder with rhythm, and it took Jesse a while to find the spots of tension in my body that seem to roam around at free will. I finally found it hiding in my arms.

After our group finished up we headed over to the balls again to work more with that. Rachel was leading us in the exercises and we repeated the previous day’s work before heading on to new things. We practiced bouncing four times and then standing up with the motion, so that we were not anticipating it, or behind the motion. The movement had to be perfectly in time. Then we put the balls in two rows facing each other and had to bounce in time with each other and then stand up at the same time with no verbal communication. Once you got the hang of it, it was actually easier than one would think. The communication just happens.

We finished up with that and headed up to the big top for a demonstration by Lyla with her horse Zorro. She showed us more exercises to work on the horses ribs, including pressing on their ribs and working them in a circle and asking them to move their ribs over. It was a good demonstration that clarified better how to work with their ribs to correct the bends.

Lunch came, which was good since it was getting cooler and the clouds were building up. The chili chicken soup really hit the spot.

I headed up and fed Roscoe and got my saddle straightened out and put my duster on the back of the saddle so that I would have it if it started raining. I decided that due to the building clouds I would go ahead and get Roscoe out. I headed out to the playground, and wandered around there. I decided to ride out around the outside of the playground and did some trot work, and then worked serpentines down the big hill. I found a threshold for Roscoe on the road between the two pastures, so we worked up and down for a while. We finally headed out and around the outside of the playground and cantered up the short side of the road. The canter itself was good but the transitions were sloppy. We grazed for a while before I decided to wander over to the second honeycomb and work on transitions again.

The rain started to come so I headed back up to the big top with everyone else and stayed there out of the rain for a while. Don, Rachel, Lyla and Michael were all up there as well. We hung out for a while, which was chilly but fun. Rachel consulted with another faculty member and decided that the weather was really not going to break, other than a lull that seemed to be coming up. So we all made a break for it and hurried to the pens and un-tacked quickly. Thankfully the weather cooperated and the rain stopped for about a half hour. We managed to get down to the lodge after getting everything put away before the rain picked up again. I even managed to get into the shower before the rain started. The nice hot shower felt good after cold damp rain.

I came into the lodge and they had the martial arts movie playing which was really interesting to watch. The guy moves so fluidly it is incredible. The techniques deal more with body awareness than with actual fighting processes. Dinner came, with more leftover soup which again was perfect for the weather. We hung around watching the new class CD on the TV which has lots of great pictures, and then RFD TV came on. Tim showed up so we began to get ready for our indoor campfire. We put the chairs in a circle, and Tomasz found matches and lit all the candles that were on the tables and put them in a circle. It was very cute, and we sang lots of good songs. We got to bed late, as usual, but thankfully it was right before the hard rain hit.

Next Page:
Friday, September 22, 2006: Cold and Wet