Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Oh, Free Advice

It's been a couple weeks since my last post, but I've been having fun.  I finally ordered and got the confidence snaffle and played with the fluid rein, which Cal seemed to really enjoy and understand very quickly.  My changes of direction have finally improved, and am getting changes at the canter.  Sideways towards suddenly got easy.

And today I had a lovely session.  He started off a little on the edge, but I gave him some tasks and leadership and had a partner with me.  We played some at liberty and he was super enthused and stuck to me when I turned away from him (I've been working for a while at getting him to stick with me when I turn away, instead of continuing in a straight line).  I was just so happy with how quickly he went from nervous to trusting and confident and playful.

Then the vet came for health certificate (ah, I leave for Florida in a week!), and Cal was instantly tense.  When we were done, the vet just had to give his 2 cents on Parelli.  "You know, those rope halters aren't as kind as they're made out to be.  Those knots are right over pressure points."  And I told him that if my horse was light, the halter was light.  And he just repeated himself.  Afterwards, I was wondering why some really simple conversation was bothering me so much, and I realized because in his undertones, what he was really saying was "Using rope halters is cruel."

I wish in answer to his first comment he made about the halter, I had simply been able to say, "Thank you for your concern," and stop it there.  It's so easy to tell others what they're doing wrong.  But don't we all just do the best we can?  So here's a reminder to me to keep my judgements to myself and be more encouraging and accepting instead of restricting, and also to know that yes, I am doing the best I can for my horse, no matter what someone else sees or thinks.


Parelli Central said...

Jen, I love your post! So good to hear you had a good session. I understand your frustration when it comes to "free advice". Part of my job is to read what others are saying on the horsey wide web, and it's sometimes challenging for me. I love the fact that you acknowledge that everybody is doing the best that they can. Looking at your videos, you're doing a mighty fine job!

Petra Christensen
Parelli 2Star Junior Instructor
Parelli Central

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