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Instructor Horsemanship Course Wrap-up

Posted by cntrares on September 1, 2013 at 10:15 PM

Hard to believe that I've already completed the 2 week instructor horsemanship course! The second week of the course flew by! It was fanscinating to see how Carol Coppinger led us through exercises that progressively took us to a higher understanding of Pat Parelli's program. Carol seemed to live in the moment and adjusted her plan to fit the situation and us. Despite our varied backgrounds, goals, and current skill levels, all of us were challenged by the "missions" she gave us.

For me, I think one of the biggest take-aways was the clarification of the levels system and why the foundation is so important. I think in my journey there have been parts of the program that I have failed to put enough emphasis on as I have developed myself and my horses. It's not that I consciously chose to ignore certain parts of the program, its just that I didn't truly realize how and why they were so important. Often I've also lacked a clear vision as to what the underlying purpose of an exercise was. For instance, I've done lots of hindquarter disengagement with my horses, but I figured doing it from a standstill was good enough. However, I've now found out via the course, that didn't mean that I owned my horse's hindquarters yet! When I asked from a higher gait, Shadow wasn't sure how to respond at first. If I don't have control of her hindquarters anywhere, anytime, any gait, well I just might be on a run-away!

Another key realization I had was that in order to get the exuberance we're looking for in level 4, your horse has to access the right side of its brain. I'd been focusing on getting Shadow to turn loose and relax all year, which has done wonders for her; however, she wasn't playfully engaging with me. She'd found her left brain and calmness, but I was too worried to let a bit of that right brain come back. As I found out yesterday when I filmed my level 4 online audition, she's ready for me to take our play to the next level and access that right-side of the brain without the left brain losing control. This morning I really focused on finding exuberance in the round pen at liberty and it was sure neat when we started to play!

It'll be fun to continue playing with and building upon the concepts we discussed in this course when I get home!

Tomorrow, I start the 2 day instructor conference and then I'll begin working on Summit prep, which takes place this weekend! Its going to be an exciting week on the ranch!

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