Many courses clinics and coaching calls ago I joined an online course, I took a leap of faith as there was not very much information about what we would be doing. Something drew me to this. It was with my teacher, friend and great inspiration Carolyn Resnick.
At the start of the course Carolyn spoke to all the participants a little about them and their horse. She asked if my horse was called No no. I explained it was Noo noo and it was her nickname, ( easier than Xinita (shenita) she was named after the hoover in teletubbies. She would gently hoover my grandchildren. The cartoon hoover Noonoo often looked like she was misbehaving but it would turn out she was actually helping the teletubbies. Hhhmm familiar.
Noo noo was a big challenge for me, very hot tempered and someone once called her feral. I think what Carolyn saw was that we liked each other, I was not afraid of her, simply didn’t know how to handle her. She was not feral she had her spirit intact.
Over the 2 months of the Waterhole Ritual course I learnt how to build a relationship with her that she needed to truly be a Yes yes horse.
Now I am mindful to keep the yes’s coming she has learnt to enjoy saying yes and I have learnt not to ask for something that will provoke a No! I love to look for the good, to ask when she is willing, and to know my horse so well, that I can change my mind before the no!
Here is an example, today I rode Noons we were working on rein back, not her favorite, on the right rein lovely soft backwards steps. On the left as soon as I asked I felt a block, so I changed my mind and decided to trot. lovely forward trot from halt that I could praise her for. We went back to the right and again lovely, so lots of praise and a carrot. Next time I asked on the left I came in from the fence and she stepped back but not straight, this was hugely rewarded it was not perfect but it was a yes, far more important than pushing for something text book and provoking a NO! It was difficult for her next to the fence as it would have kept her straight. We can go back to backwards steps from the ground on this side and start with one step. I have a feeling it won’t be long before she can do it.
Here is my lovely Noonoo after some time off giving me a yes I will try! I ask her if I can ride in a bareback pad so she can help me become a better rider and I love to give her what she likes a roll in the sand.
I love to have the freedom to simply change my mind in search of more yes’s This is putting our relationship first before any performance.
Have fun finding your yes’s and avoiding the No! and…..love is the key.
I would love to hear about them.
Love Jayne x