Emma and I started searching for a good date to have her clinic and of course Murphy's Law said it HAD to be the weekend before Jim and I's BBQ when we should have been working on the yard or pond or something!! But, I took a big breath and agreed to do it. So, I got two of my favorite horsey gal-pals to join me as students and the plan was made........so I thought. It seems that Emma and I had a small communication problem. The night before the clinic I realized that Emma thought the clinic was in one location and I thought it was in another. LOL. Lucky for us Jim, in his quiet, calm way, suggested that we have it at OUR place (such a simple solution)! The next day things went great. The weather was perfect, Jim and Kip took videos of the whole affair and all three horses and their humans did wonderful (actually four horses, I rode Jake and Minnie). The "game of contact" AND "fluid reins" is so amazing.
|Shannon & Desi|
|stretching with Fluid Reins|
|Kim & Tunes|
"traditional" martengale, forks and different snaffle bits both online and under saddle.... and then I met Emma and Emma learned the game of contact and passed it on to me!! In a 1-hour session, Emma taught Minnie and I the game. We went home and had 3 more sessions on our own, each one better than the last. The fifth session Emma coached us again to keep our progress moving forward. Two more sessions and Minnie was literally a different horse; I could see it and feel it, Jim could see it, my mom could see it. The 8th session was really a testimonial to the concept. In fact, we started working on the lope that day (another big challenge with my "goey" horse). So, 8-1 hr sessions spaced out over a summer, only two of which were coached, and my horse learned how to stretch over her top line and use her hindquarters all with contact on the bit and it was HER idea, from playing the simple "game of contact".
|Me & Minnie|
I should mention one more thing. You'll notice a clicking sound in the video. Emma has been experimenting with a dog clicker. She used it during our lessons to mark exactly when our horses had achieved what we were asking. It's a great tool. The theory is that you can mark the exact moment that you and/or your horse "get it right" and THEN give the reward. It's more precise. And it's said to create mental markers in our minds that we remember later. Very interesting!
All I can say is, I can't wait to see how Jake, Desi, Tunes and Minnie progress from here and thank you, Linda Parelli for discovering and developing these exercises and thank you Emma for sharing what you've learned.