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So close to a purple tick for short range HiM

I just got feedback from Meredith today on Darcy and I's first trot attempt of the short range HiM, and its so close now. We just have to improve on the flow, Darcy's self carriage and my rope skills (no using the rope for forward). This was filmed about a week and a half ago, but now its looking about a million times better. Darcy is offering amazing self carriage (his back is close to being as flat as a table), I'm not lifting my rope hand for the offer for trot (Darcy's just going off of my energy and intent) and the general flow is much nicer. We just have to improve in on a smaller circle with the stick on Darcy's back, because I feel like the stick is blocking the raising of Darcy's back, which essentially stops the drive forwards into the trot. I will have experiment with this one a little more. Here are some screenshots and a quick video of how we are looking now     IMG_1473.MOV

LunaMorrow

LunaMorrow

 

What we've been up to - 14/05/2018

I haven't posted in over a month (whoops). Darcy and I have been super busy though. He pulled up lame and after 2 vet visits and some x-rays was diagnosed as being calcium deficient. He is now being treated for that, and as part of it he has to have time off from anything major. All we are allowed to do is small amounts of walk groundwork (which we can be quite creative with). So we have ben doing tons of HiM, and have been practicing short range, long range and liberty all at a walk. I have submitted some short range assignments and my second one is awaiting feedback now. I have just been doing it at a walk with focus of Darcy's lateral drift, self carriage and softness throughout.  I hope to film the long range and liberty soon just at a walk as they are coming along nicely. Darcy is quite happy with COD's and spirals HiM style, but the lateral drift at long range still needs some work from both of us. Our liberty however is going amazingly! Darcy has made the choice to stay with me and for the past week of doing Liberty nearly every afternoon he hasn't left me once. It feels so great and I can tell how much he wants to connect because after our sessions he walks beside me for a while. Yesterday we were at the Noosa Hinterland practice day and the whole time we just worked with the neck rope, then we did some liberty in the huge grass area of the grounds. He didn't leave me even though there was lots of grass and the draw of other horses, although our circles ended up getting pretty large at times!   I can't wait to see where Darcy's next month of walk restrictions takes us as its really getting me to fine-tune myself and my communication with him. Sometimes I think about sending Darcy on a circle and he will start doing it, so I have to be careful about what I consider asking Darcy to do because its like he can read my mind! He happily goes sideways, forward and backwards now with just my intent and body life. 
 

Stories from the past week - 05/04/2018

I have been a bit slack with posting, so here is our progress from the past week or so. 25/03/2018 -  Darcy and I went to the Sunshine Coast Practice Group for the World's Biggest Play Day. In some of the games like the races he went a bit emotional and braced up, and I am happy to say that I was able to use the skills I have gained from Him to bring back the thinking Darcy. He was also concerned by a giant horse statue and the ball when it came flying at him during soccer. I was able to show him that they really weren't trying to eat him and he calmed down.   26/03/2018 - 04/04/2018 Over this week we had a few tahdah's. Darcy did the first totally unbraced jump I have ever seen him do. He walked in and out of it and his legs all took off and landed at different times, which he has never been able to do. I have been a bit slack with posting, so here is our progress from the past week or so. 25/03/2018 -  Darcy and I went to the Sunshine Coast Practice Group for the World's Biggest Play Day. In some of the games like the races he went a bit emotional and braced up, and I am happy to say that I was able to use the skills I have gained from Him to bring back the thinking Darcy. He was also concerned by a giant horse statue and the ball when it came flying at him during soccer. I was able to show him that they really weren't trying to eat him and he calmed down.   26/03/2018 - 04/04/2018 Over this week we had a few tahdah's. Darcy did the first totally unbraced jump I have ever seen him do. I had a feeling he was carrying a lot of brace over the jump, so I did some no yield in motion over the jump and it released all of the emotion. After a few laps Darcy relaxed to a walk and gave the try I was looking for. He walked in and out of it, and his legs all took off and landed at different times, which he has never been able to do.  I also think Darcy finally made the choice to stay with me, because when I gave him the chance to leave at liberty he did and very fast I may add. I moved him in circles maintaining the trot he left with and allowing him to walk when he connected again. After a few minutes he came in and stayed with me doing circles in the open paddock.   05/04/2018 -  Today was one of those days where everything goes well and falls into place with heaps of tries. To warm up, Darcy and I did some short and long range HiM with the halter and the neck rope. With the halter Darcy's walk was beautiful and we were getting transitions and lateral drift with just energy and body language. So seeing the the ducks were being very good, I asked Darcy up to a trot and we got some lateral drift. It wasn't as smooth as I'd like but its a start. We moved onto the neck rope and just did some walk, lateral drift at walk and some transitions. Throughout I was getting tries of vertical flex and I could visibly see Darcy's back raising.  I then asked Darcy over some barrel jumps and Darcy had some really nice jumps. To both sides he was walking in and out of the jump and was lifting off and landing with which leg separated at different times. He was also landing with his hind legs nicely spread and sequential (not landing at the same time like usual). I stopped when it was good.  Then I left Darcy with just his halter (no lead rope), while I put some things away. Then he started walking off from where I left him which left me a bit disappointed but he walked straight over to the centre of the southern cross pattern and stopped there super relaxed. I must have been doing something right the last few days doing some of the find the centre if he choose to walk over and stand there.  We then did some bareback and our rein positions were so light and lovely. Although I do have to thank my chiropractor because he fixed my hips up after they had been crooked for a couple of months. We did some walk and trot approximately on the pattern and then I offered a canter on Darcy's bad side and he picked up the right lead straight away. He was struggling with this for a while and I haven't tried it for over a month, but its there now (thank you HiM). I was going to film my bareback but my iPod ran out of charge, so hopefully we can film it tomorrow.    

LunaMorrow

LunaMorrow

 

Keep Calm - 24/03/2018

Today I went out and gave Darcy a little clean up because he had been rolling in the mud! Once he was looking handsome again I did some of the short range HiM to warm up and then went through the saddling procedure.  I asked Darcy through the different rein positions and paid extra attention on making sure he didn't step forward or finish with his weight forward after the forequarter yields. They were looking really good and I could feel him using and raising him back a little, so we did some circles focusing on Darcy maintaining lateral softness. Darcy gave me some great tries (including a bit of vertical flex in the pinch test back up) and I could feel him softening a little more when I asked for the lateral drift. Darcy got a bit spooked when the neighbours dogs were chasing the kangaroos, but I was able to help him through it by focusing on the circle and asking him to keep laterally soft. I finished when he was calm, thinking and laterally soft. I'm proud of our progress so far in just a week 

LunaMorrow

LunaMorrow

 

Trying some riding yesterday - 23/03/2018

Yesterdays play with Darcy went really well. I went through the mounting procedure HiM style and Darcy went really well and was ok with trot at a longer range and over the barrels.  When I got on, I ran through our rein positions for a while and focused on having them nice and flowing. At one point when I was asking Darcy to back with one rein it felt like he had picked himself up and his back rose, but I'm not sure as I haven't felt it before, I released on it regardless because it was a nice backup too . It'll be something to keep a feel for and make sure I release on. Then I asked Darcy out on some walk circles and whenever I felt him straighten I asked him laterally and then forward again nice he softened. To mix it up on some of the laterals we would finish and others we would go forward to. After about 10 - 15 minutes Darcy was really light on the reins and I could just lift the inside one a little bit and shift my weight a bit and Darcy would respond with lateral drift. I left it on a good try and hopefully we can progress on it today    

LunaMorrow

LunaMorrow

 

Totally Brought a New Horse to Do Skills Checks With!

Yep, it had been bugging me for a while that I wasn't getting my Skills Checks filmed.  I needed help,  I needed another horse. So, I went out and brought one. WELL, I didn't 'go out' to do it, because I brought him off eBay. For about $8.00                 He's so awsome! He likes apples, but holds my Samsung just fine! Even in QS colours! Pop him on the fence, stand him up and he doesn't move... Filmed and sent away SC2 so looking forward to some feed back  

_helen_

_helen_

 

Taking it slow - 22/03/2018

I gave Darcy the day off yesterday which he made the most of and enjoyed, maybe a little too much because today he saw the halter and decided he would rather eat grass than do something with me. He trotted out into the paddock and I followed him and then I got him doing a serpentine from using my bellybutton energy on his shoulders. Then I got him out onto a circle and used his hindquarter to keep him on the same circle. I gradually made the circle smaller and when Darcy tried to walk I asked him up again to trot and kept making the circle smaller. Then I asked him to yield his hind and after about a circle he did and then I drew him in and he had a bit of a lick and a chew. I walked off towards where I'd left my stick and string and Darcy came with me. Lesson learned for both of us - I learnt that I've made him work too hard a few times in the past week and Darcy learnt that sticking with me is much nicer than going out on his own. After that we did some of the short range HiM things just at a walk, practicing sends, stops, lateral drift and just moving nicely with lateral flexion on the circle - first with the halter and then with the neck rope. Darcy gave me some great tries and was really picking himself up and he managed to lower his head by just a fraction compared to last time. Then we went on with the neck rope and while he wasn't quite as flexed, I could tell he was still trying hard.  I had a lightbulb moment with the lateral drift. When I was turning against Darcy to point my belly button at him to ask for the lateral drift he was bracing up and his head would come up a bit and he would stiffen through the ribs, then when I asked him to move laterally his hindquarter was lagging. Then I tried curving a bit and pointing my hip at his pocket and he picked up and moved laterally without the bit of brace. So I think my bellybutton lightsaber must be too intense and Darcy thinks I'm yelling at him, or me turning against him is pausing his forward for just a moment and thats causing the brace in him when I then ask his to go laterally when I've just blocked him. I have some pondering to do!

LunaMorrow

LunaMorrow

 

Was it a try or not?? 20/03/2018

Well today was interesting. I had a feeling that Darcy hadn't been truly softening through the ribs because his head level was still above his wither at the end of the lateral drift. I went out with the goal to get a better try with his head lower and even after many attempts and trying lots of different positions, I wasn't getting any better tries. He was quite obviously trying to pick himself up and try for me, as I could see him flexing around me and his stomach tucking up and his back rising, and when I offered the release forward again I got an few offers of vertical flex for the first few steps.  His head was at an acceptable height (only about 10-15cm in total above the level of his wither) and he seemed to be relaxed, so I'm beginning to think that his head level is ok as it is. As an Arabian he has a naturally high head carriage, so his head is pretty low considering. We did have some good progress with the lateral drift, especially on the right. His hind had been lagging going to the right and Darcy gave me a few tries of bringing his hind end under him in the lateral drift which I released forward on.  I'll keep working on it and releasing with the tries I'm getting, and hopefully we will be ready to try a nice lateral drift at the trot soon.

LunaMorrow

LunaMorrow

 

Discoveries from today - 19/03/2018

Today Darcy and I went out to practice some of our HiM again. The short range with the halter on was going beautifully and Darcy was really trying in his upwards transitions to trot (which are looking considerably better than they did yesterday!). I switched the alerts for the ring rope around the neck and Darcy gave me some great tries with his flex and was feeling even better than yesterday. Then I asked him for some lateral drift at the trot and it all went a bit haywire. His hindquarter was lagging so I checked my position which didn't help, so I pushed some extra energy at his hindquarter and Darcy braced a little, then when I flicked my string a bit at his hindquarter to try to get his hind under him he lost it. He went really braced with his head up and was running through the rope, and he went totally right brained. I managed to disengage his hind and he stopped and looked a bit confused. Then I asked him out short range and did some no-yeild in motion with the stick and string and he went all right brained again. He calmed down after about a minute and I repeated on the other side. I finished on a good note with some nice walk circles with lateral flex. This was a first for Darcy to react like this to the trotting or lateral drift. I'm not sure if its because the halter has been hiding it or if Darcy has been containing it this whole time. I'm just glad that its out so we can work through it now. Looking back on it, I think I was trying to be 'more round' to try to help Darcy in the trot circles and was consequently pushing my hip at Darcy without intending to and basically asking him into lateral rift. but he would then hit the feel of the rope and basically phase himself. So when I asked for the drift it was too much for him.

LunaMorrow

LunaMorrow

 

Todays Play - 18/03/2018

Today I went out with yesterdays successes and lessons learned in mind. Darcy and I had a play with some short range with the halter on to warm up and he was really offering the flex. We did some nice sends, stops and lateral drift, and our transitions up to a trot had improved. I made sure to reward all of his tries by stopping frequently. After 10 minutes I swapped Darcy’s halter for the 22” rope around his neck. We repeated the short range and he offered flex again really nicely. Then I sent him out on just over half of the rope and he struggled a bit with the flex but I helped him through it by making sure I was in the pocket and using my belly button to ask him for lateral drift and I got a few nice tries from him. I brought him back in short range and asked for a really nice flexed circles each way and finished with that. I was very happy with what we had done so Darcy got a big pat and some grazing time on the nice grass. Hopefully we can film at attempt of the short range this week and long range soon too

LunaMorrow

LunaMorrow

 

Yesterdays Progress

Yesterday I finished watching all of the HiM videos on my Level 2 modules.  I decided to go out and practice some short and long range things from the videos. I made sure all of my ducks were lined up and Darcy gave me some awesome tries. After about half an hour or so, I wanted to finish up with just a few short range circles and then I found an escaping duck. Darcy had stopped offering flex going to the right and would only do it when I asked and stop as soon as I offered the release forward. I ended up spending way too much time trying to work through it and got Darcy a bit annoyed. Eventually we finished on a nice flex. Looking back on it now I shouldn't have even tried to finish off with some short range circles, I should have just finished with the good tries I was getting because Darcy was getting tired from all of the hard work. Lesson learned. After we wrapped up I assessed Darcy to see where he was sweating and he had some sweat along his back and some between his hindquarters, but none around his shoulders, yay! I must have been getting some form of flex from him, even though its hard to tell from the pocket. Another lesson learned that he was probably lightly flexed the whole time and I couldn't tell!  I'm going to go over the same things again today but try to finish our session quickly before Darcy gets tired out.

LunaMorrow

LunaMorrow

 

L1 HWC 1 No Yield

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y87UcR4fT0w&t=19s Zip the first 50 seconds or so. Attempt to tick some boxes for Level 1, Homework Card 1. No Yield. I thought Tetley was pretty awesome. 

_helen_

_helen_

 

2017 Achievements

I started this year with Level 1 behind me and my goals were to progress in level 2 and feel confident to canter Gulliver in a circle.  I am proud to report that I have finished the easier half of the assignments in level 2.  I can also canter Gulliver and have learnt thanks to Mel's Impulsion Clinic how to ride up into the canter and get my direct rein lighter.  I have a great connection with my big boy who always gives me his best try.  Thanks to the Great support of Fiona and all the wonderful Quantum Savvy family both in our play groups and online we are achieving more than I every felt possible.  I now never feel nervous when heading out to practice my homework and know that Gulliver has my back if I make a mistake.  Now to plan for the future.  I have a huge journey ahead of me as we head into more challenging assignments.  This journey involves my own physical journey in managing my Fibromialgia and Achillies Tendonopathy.  Lots of stretching and getting the weight off so that I can stay in the saddle long enough to get through the programs needed to move forward.  I am not expecting fast progress but I do promise to always practice the Quantum Savvy principles when ever I am with my horses.  I know I will finish level 2 some day but not in 2018 as bareback on a wide back horse may sound comfy but the reality is that sitting with legs so wide does make it far more difficult to balance.  I dream of being able to one day but one step at a time.  Also will need a QS saddle at some stage and I am putting things in place to be able to afford it in about 2 years.  Mostly I just want to be a ROPE champion to my horse and enjoy the journey.

jane_gully

jane_gully

 

Another Challenge on my Journey

You can only travel smooth for so long before you have to over come another block in the road.  I find these are now giving me more of a fire in my belly to succeed.  Pushing through the fear and just listening.  Not feeling very strong and a little short of breath with a cold I find myself with the concept of a group trot passenger lesson.  At first I sit it out thinking to myself.  Then I realize that the opportunity is too much to pass up.  Gulliver and I really need this.  He is always more connected to a group or to what others are doing and this is one of my fears as I am still not protecting him properly in these situations which is probably why he is still so sensitive in these situations.  We pushed through and I feel I so much better.  I know I am still leaning forward too much so this is going to be my own physical challenge to strengthen my back to hold the right position for Gulliver.  I must make things so hard for him sometimes.  So great full to my big hearted forgiving lug.

jane_gully

jane_gully

 

That time of year

Life just gets so busy towards the end of the year with kids and work that keeping goals for Gulliver become really challenging. I thought writing them down will help me keep focused. I really want to go as far as my body will let me with this journey so it is taking a bit longer as I work on myself too. My next goal is to get Gulliver more comfortable in a canter on both leads and maintain. I would really love to be able to do a canter passenger lesson before the end of the year. I also want to practice swinging the rope while in the walk and the trot so that I can protect his space in a group trot passenger lesson. I have been too wussy with him and he needs more no yield in motion to improve his confidence. These are my last goals for 2017

jane_gully

jane_gully

 

L2 with Bailey - September

it might as well rain until September.... and it feels as tho it has the weather has been less than pleasant through out August to say the least, hence no blog post as nothing was really achieved!   So spring has now sprung and time to 'grow' a bit more in our horsemanship journey, pull out the excuses (like weeds), nurture the brain - lesson with Mel as opposed to layering with s*%# - and encourage new buds of experiences and learning   With this in mind Bailey and I are looking at L3 A2 - contact with flank rope assignment - while the ground dries out and revisit the last few L2 ones including imagination so some filming to be done, to be done  

2legsue

2legsue

 

we are getting there

I am so amazed in only a few days I am able to rub Cheyene's face a little tonight, and then all of a sudden he pulls away again, It has helped that Teena has not been here with him this week. oh well back to the drawing so to speak, onward we go tomorrow with it again.

teena

teena

 

Starting Again.

well maybe this time I can get out of L1, I have got myself a 15 year old appaloosa, that I had a fantastic time with yesterday as we started going through our lesson cards, well no horse is perfect I know, but this may take some getting over. I knew Cheyene was hard to catch, but with some advice and instruction from Sharon we have got around that but this next hurdle may take me a bit longer, he doesn't like his head touched, rubbed in any way you can put a halter on him just don't touch his face. So after we had a few goes of approach and retreat on his face, it's now time for some fun, we did a game of ride the rail in walk then we trotted this is fun but now for a first for us we cantered, it was fantastic.

teena

teena

 

Introducing Saint Sonia

Hi All First time blogger here... I've been studying with QS for many years. I passed my first level one with my big TB Scrubber years ago, unfortunately Scrub passed away. I have now got a new girl called Sonia, she's a Standy, a baby just 5 yrs. We have been together since the start of this year. I plan to get all my assignments into Mel by the end of the year and have level one done and dusted, we are about half way through. Mel has done some horse training with her, to assist her with her transition to a riding horse. Being a Standy with that extra gait, Sonia and I needed a bit of help softening and learning the canter stride. Of course Mel has done an amazing job. I have attached a photo of Sonia at an event we attended recently. This little horse just takes everything in her stride, and tries so hard for me and despite me sometimes (When Im not being as clear as i should be). Anyway I love following everybody's journeys with their horses and slowly but surely getting to meet as many of the QS family as possible. Cheers Amanda  

amandal

amandal

 

So much try!

I wanted to write something here so I remember how much try Perl gave me tonight!   I was playing with the ranch rope and tried our first jumps bigger than the sideways barrels. I made a jump out of crossing 2 poles between the upright barrels. I started with the barrels spaced far apart and moved them together so the jump ended up quite big. Perl did so well and followed my direction so well she trotted beautifully in and out of the jumps even when they got quite big (probs 3/4 the upright barrel). It looked like she was really enjoying the challenging jumps.   Then as a warm down I decided to put a pole on the ground in between the upright barrels and asked perl to circle me and walk over the pole. As she approached the pole I was focusing on flicking the rope up so it would go over the barrel, so accidentally my energy got really high. As Perl walked towards the pole on the ground she kept looking at me to see what I was asking, then she did a big jump over the pole (definitely bigger than her usual 2') and walked out the other side. Later I tried it again asking intentionally and she did another beautiful jump over the pole. Then I circled her again keeping my energy low and she just walked over the pole.   I am so so so blown away by the try Perl gave me tonight! She jumped a large jump that wasnt even there all because I asked her to with my energy...

georgia_perl

georgia_perl

 

Behind the scenes progress

Since QSports I have had to back track to fix some issues that I have created with being on Gulliver's off side. I do think we have made some great progress on fixing this part of our relationship. I have also been working on our canter but having the same issue of not having a big enough space. I met a lady who has been keeping her horse in the paddock next door and we decided to go for a ride into the forestry. It was my first real trail ride since finishing level 1. It felt amazing. I felt completely safe on Gulliver the whole time and we were able to get the canter going and get into a nice rhythm. It was only just over an hour of mostly walking and some trotting and a couple of canter stretches. Even old Darcy at 27yrs old came out with my daughter Maya and he just looked so happy to be out. I feel that this one ride has re energised me and I am really looking forward to our Play Day next weekend at Cooroy where I feel we are at a stage where we can move on with our homework cards again.

jane_gully

jane_gully

 

felt like spring

Dear diary, I have felt more up lifted in the last 2 week as the weather has felt like spring is in the air. Cold starts but by mid morning the sun has a bit of warmth with low winds. 1 more month of winter to go. August is usually the worst for me as the winds are higher, colder and more rain. But so far so good.   Ive had a slump of motivation but slowly it has been regained. I have been practising bits and pieces of activities but still not ready to hand in any assignments as yet. I have been doing short range circles while holding the stirrup and with the stick on the saddle then allowing Iggy to drift out to a larger circle while doing transitions then bring him back with a spiral. Then sending out by backing and getting the step over with correct leading leg. Then in the saddle I have done follow the rail on a loose wind in the reins walk and trot for 10 minuets intervals. Poor Iggy has been in a lather of sweet by the end. I think he is a tad unfit. Just like his owner.   Im in no hurry to hand in any assignments as there is so much to consider bio mechanically and refine.

iggy_denise

iggy_denise

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