What a wonderful session with Chansonette and Kami. Kami and I had such a good time with you! I love your write up. You really capture the highlights. It took all the skills you learned with Mystic and a strong dose of confidence and relaxation to achieve what you did today. Riding Kami is like being on a teeter totter with hooves sinking deep into the earth with no movement at all on one side, and a rough, high headed, unconfident trot on the other side and in that magic point of balance, relaxation and harmony in the middle, a telepathic, light, smooth, flowing, responsive, joyous mare who will teach you how to truly dance in harmony with her!
I am still floating from today’s lesson at Mystic Ranch. If you take a look at my cover photo, you will see Kami, the beautiful brilliant chestnut mare who decided a while ago that she would like to be included in liberty aspects of working in the arena as well as joining us for trail rides on the open property across the road. The first time she and I were in the arena together, she gave me one of her gorgeous big smiles (note cover photo). For me it was love at first smile. I am totally besotted with this free spirited, joyful, loving, sensitive Being. We’ve been playing together and getting to know each other for a while now. She now comes up to greet me, gives me smiles, shows me all her tricks, nuzzles for cookies, etc.
In short, we are buds. And the very sight of her fills me with joy.
Today when Jackie and I went to fetch Mystic and Tori for my lesson, Kami came up to us. It was clear that she wanted to be the one I was learning from today. She volunteered to be ridden. I was so honored. I know that she has very strong opinions about what will and what will not happen, and I’ve seen first hand how she communicates that nobody is riding her today, but that she would be happy to play at liberty. Today she clearly communicated it was our turn to work together.
We started out in the round pen, at liberty, with me on the ground. She showed me all her tricks, and then we started doing figure eights around the barrels. I still don’t seem to know the difference between left and right, and Jackie had to coach me a lot. Every day a new skill, it seems. After a while Kami and I were synched, and she allowed me on her back. Then came even more magic. We started with nothing on her head. We waited for her to decide what she’d like to do, and then Jackie coached me on how to anticipate and ask in advance for what she was already deciding would be a good idea. That way she’d think I have good ideas too, because they match hers.
We worked that way to find harmony. It wasn’t as straightforward with Kami as it is with Mystic, because Kami is a highly sensitive girl. It’s almost as if she hears you thinking the next move before you ask for it, and responds. So if you don’t stay super focused on Now, you’ll confuse her. Within minutes I was truly astounded at how responsive she is. For her, the cues need to be extremely subtle, soft, gentle, and light. She responds instantly. She is a dream to ride. What this means for me is that I need to get more assured about my cues, so I don’t overdo them and overwhelm her. It took us a while but we got there together. We did a lot of laps trotting (again, nothing on her head, just steering with seat).
After a while we got so that we could go to the arena, which is a bigger space. There she showed me her favorite thing: doing pivots on the platform. And we got synched up to the place where we did a beautiful job of weave the cones. So then we went out to the woods, and played some more. All of this felt very much like a cooperation, not a rider on a horse. We were finding a way to do this together, as a team.
Kami loves to go, so there were times she’d move into a trot…out of sheer joy and exuberance. I love to go too, so she and I have that very much in common. So I was all for it. But Jackie wisely wants me to get to the place where I can be sure I can sigh her down to a walk before we start speeding around the place. Which I wasn’t able to do all that consistently. When I did it right, her response was instant. When I was lacklustre, she just kept trotting. Because why not? It’s so much fun!
Anyway…I am just overjoyed to have had this experience with this gorgeous, brilliant, magical, playful, joyful girl. More of this please, Universe!