Where shall I begin? I guess by saying how blessed I am to have the most rewarding and satisfying job in the world! With my children now back in school, the last two weeks have been very busy with coaching, schooling, paper work, designing new workshops, exploring new business ideas etc., while fitting all this in and around family life too. So I came home on Saturday feeling physically very tired, but happy and contented never-the-less…
And this is why…during week 18 we were working on developing Jamie’s use of her energy more assertively when lunging. So we talked about the different leadership styles we can adopt to suit each particular situation best: we can switch between ‘Telling’, ‘Coaching’ & ‘Hand-over’ style. Jamie’s natural tendency generally is ‘coaching’ style, and this is great. But Rosie was not really paying much attention to the conversation Jamie was trying to have with her on the lunge, so I suggested a switch to ‘telling’ and Rosie’s response was enthusiastic: ‘OK mum, I hear you now. I’m walking/trotting on.’ Then it was time to get into the saddle…Jamie did really well in overcoming her initial nerves by focussing on her breathing and staying in a positive frame of mind by reminding herself of the sense of achievement she felt when she rode Rosie for the first time again. With me supporting Jamie on the lunge, she soon settled as we walked through the arena. Focussing Jamie on observing how Rosie’s movements felt and asking her for feedback also helped to relax even more.
Week 19: the progress these two made last Saturday was even more exciting! Jamie’s confidence has gone from strength to strength and Rosie is a pony that takes life in its relaxed stride these days – what a change in personality I am seeing in both of them – it’s so amazing. Working on the ground on a loose line, Rosie’s inside ear is fixed on Jamie as the two of them walk, trot, stop, back up side by side. The synchronisation of their energy is improving so much…it’s a pleasure to watch those two. It really puts a big smile on my face and in my heart. With the yard being particularly busy that day, Jamie felt a little apprehensive about getting into the saddle, and very nearly didn’t . However, with a little encouragement she got on board Rosie and before long Jamie was riding even off the lunge! Our aim at this moment in time is to achieve a relaxed and rhythmic walk on both reins. So Jamie is exploring ways to use her body & mind (through energy & thought, i.e. by creating an inner picture of your aim/goal first) to influence Rosie’s movement. Giving Jamie opportunities to feed back while riding has also really helped her to relax…as we talked, her initial concerns over who might be watching our session faded into the background and was no longer important.
Then Jamie shared something with me during our conversation that really made my day…she explained how she had been able to apply her new understanding of the different situational leadership styles we had talked about in our previous session, during a staff meeting that week at work. I was really touched, as this is a testimony to what is at the heart of Spirit In Stirrups, what is in my heart – to equip and enable others (whether 2- or 4-legged) with the skills, tools, knowledge & understanding to become the best version of themselves they can be. Happy days! Have a great week all.