We attempted the figure-8 pattern around small barrels. I did this with Fosse last fall using large barrels and a 12 foot line but was never successful with Whiskey. Today, Whiskey and I tried but were not very good at it. I blame myself for this, not being clear, being a bit clumsy, and not confident that I knew what I was doing. Rather that belabor it, we moved on to other things. We played with a pedestal and for the first time he offered to stand on it. He then offered to straddle it (the pedestal was under his belly). I decided to take what he was offering and use it. I asked him, rather than move forward, to go sideways to leave the pedestal and then forward and he did it with ease. This was quite fun. He also moved sideways around some trees, down the middle of the play area, and along a fence-line. I played extreme friendly game with him and he seems quite comfortable and confident. A few of the cooler things were really at liberty. I folded the 22 foot line and laid it over his back. Then while standing in zone 3, I asked him to walk forward, then I lifted the life in my body and trotted and he trotted next to me, I stopped, he stopped, I walked, he walked, so this is the stick to me game, at liberty, walk and trot--very fun and he was really responsive, showed impulsion, seemed to be having fun. We did this all over the place in straight lines and circles, between trees, around barrels, and at one point, I was near the car wash obstacle and he went through it, at liberty, a first (he does it online very well). I was very careful to use a long phase one (being polite to him and giving him time to process and think). This really works well for introverts like Whiskey. I was patient, persistent and put the relationship first. I did offer grain as reward for a try many times throughout our session. Whiskey, being an introvert, seems to find comfort in this and it was not used as a bribe.
I played with Fosse a bit too. He was a little overbearing and trying to rule things. LOL That is my extrovert! We did figure-8 some but, once again, I believe that I needed to review this pattern. I played with him all over with obstacles but he was leaning in the right-brained universe! I tried stick to me exercise with him. Although I folded the line, I did hold part of it and asked for the transitions like I did with Whiskey. Once he understood what I was asking, he did it but, had pinned ears, an interesting and defensive response I look forward to exploring further.
When I went back to the house, I decided that I really needed to review the Parelli Patterns Online materials. I hadn't really had time to review this in depth, without interruption until this evening. I read and watched everything and some things more than once. I was able to clarify many questions I had and get some really good ideas. I am confident that with some practice, we can pass L1/2 and L3/4 this year before summer. By the way, the weave pattern (slalom) is figure-8 but with more barrels--Whiskey and I can do that which means we can do the figure-8. It is just drive and draw--how interesting and how nice to have a resource like the Parelli Patterns to help remind me of how things work--Thanks Pat and Linda!
So, what my thoughts are is that we truly have rekindled our relationship and that I feel way more connected to Whiskey in particular (I always feel a connection with Fosse). I really look forward to riding tasks because, of course, our relationship on the ground is truly connected to our relationship under saddle. How wonderful.
By the way, if you have not purchased the Parelli Patterns, I do recommend them, highly. They really are good.