Chansonette’s Lesson Summary:
another great lesson at mystic ranch this morning. we got rained out after an hour so had to cut it short, but it was really productive in so many ways.
first off, when i showed up and leaned against the fence mystic saw me and came over to say hello. that is a first, and i took it as a very high honor. he didn’t ask for treats. he just came over and gave me some gentle nuzzles and let me stroke him behind the ears and under his mane and gave me his nose for a kiss. so yeah. i melted. i love this horse more every day as he lets me get to know him.
then kami showed jackie that she would like to be the co-teacher this session. so we all went out to the…uh…dang can’t remember what jackie calls it — but it’s an open area next to the arena with a lot of trees and things to climb up on and step over — at liberty. we played there for quite a while, and mystic and i had a blast together.
at one point i tried to encourage him to “step over” a double tree with a big root and space in between. he was very reluctant to do so, and my encouragements didn’t help much. jackie took over, and watching her i learned about working gently and patiently when your horse has some fear about something. i could see in his face that he was a tad anxious. not terrified. just, not so sure he could do this. and jackie worked with him and worked with him and then finally he did a one-leg step-over and then lickety split withdrew the leg and set his hoof firmly on the ground where it had been before.
i saw in that gesture that he still wasn’t so sure it was a good idea, and that he had really tried, and that he had done his absolute best in that moment. it moved me so much to see, because i am not unfamiliar with fear. and jackie praised him to the skies. it made me reflect on how hard i can be on myself sometimes. a lifelong habit of mind i’ve been working to change for decades. and how much more it would feed my heart and confidence if i would take jackie’s approach. i resolved to do so.
then we went into the arena and worked again on steering with body language. i’m getting it more and more. and how important focus is. mystic and i rocked “weave the cone” but i am still not so clear about going around the barrels. it’s so funny. it’s hard for me to remember “left” and “right” (i’m ms ZERO SENSE OF DIRECTION) so jackie would tell me to turn him in one direction and i’d do the opposite. but that gives us something to laugh about.
anyway, i feel i made great progress. and the thing i come away with more and more and more each time is a deeper and deeper joy. i honestly thought, after the cancer, that my joy was gone forever and i’d have to live without it. jackie, mystic, kami, tori, and the doggies bring me back to my joy in a sustained way every single time.
Mystic trying his heart out for Chansonette