Friday, May 7, 2010

Spookless Progress!

Yes,it's been too long since my last post. Hoping to get back to it from now on! Had a great lesson on Lady yesterday, with the help of my boombox and a Spookless CD. We started at a safe distance from the sounds, riding around barrels doing figure 8s and circles, asking for lengthening and shortening strides. Gradually worked closer and closer to the scary noises, trying to be aware of her reactions and stress level, sometimes walking further away, for relief, then closer. As my instructor, Cindy helped Lady feel safe, standing between us and the boombox noises. Ended up quite close to the sounds, with Cindy offering a mint for reward, then just stood and talked and listened for maybe 5 or 10 minutes, taking one or two steps closer as we talked. Ended up a lot closer than I imagined possible. I had an urge while standing there, to restart the CD at a close distance, but I reminded myself that Cindy often says to stop while you are doing good. We'll do this again another time. As I rode Lady back to the barn, she seemed to be looking for whatever it was that had been making all those noises. Spookier than usual, but I felt able to handle it. Trying to breathe and relax more and not grab the reins. Lady is a smart gal. I'm beginning to think that we may yet find a way for me to ride her down the road without so much fearfulness inside me!