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Zaneta & Delightful | Longeing Grade 4 Journey

ST Instructor Zaneta Georgiades from South Africa passed the Longeing Grade 4 Touchstone with her gelding Delightful!


Here is the video link to her fourth submission for which she received a 2-star score, and which had 3-star elements in it:

In the process, Zaneta submitted four Longeing videos on the level of Grade 4, and received four lessons.

And we discussed all four lessons in the May Mastermind Session with all Mastery students.

Zaneta shared more details about her learning process and insights into her own laboratory, and this is what she had to say:

“Thanks to Marijke for another super Mastermind – diving into Rebecca and my Longeing 4 lesson process and to the community for your enthusiasm about our journeys!

Again, I have been through another fascinating learning process in my Longeing 4 laboratory with Delightful and have come out the other side with an even deeper understanding of this pillar…

I approached our first lesson very much from the Liberty mindset because we had just emerged from the Liberty 4 laboratory and that was fresh in my mind. The result was that we did the exercises very much like at Liberty with the tools kind of ‘in the way’ rather than actually helping. The feedback gave me a whole new perspective on how to perceive the line, not just as a telephone line but like an exercise band that gives a ‘counter-feel’ to activate the isometric engagement of the muscles even more. Such a cool concept in theory!

In practice, I took this a bit too literally and when I submitted my second Longeing 4 lesson, I had swung to the other end of the spectrum, with too much producing from the front and having Delightful in a bit too much of a ‘following’ mental state rather than in the ‘best aikido’ we want in Grade 4. In the additional coaching, Marijke explained what seemed like the obvious 😉 Yes, we want the contact in front but we don’t create the feel in front by pulling back but rather by sending the energy forward from behind towards the hand in front… so create it from behind! Sounded very familiar, hehehe!

Another valuable concept was that the more I stepped into the ‘teacher’ role, the more Delightful become the obedient student and lost the proud, ‘war horse’ energy we started getting in the Liberty 4 laboratory. Marijke’s advice was to tap more into my horse’s innate wisdom and ask him what he needed from me to set him up for success. Assume that he wants to give his best (which he most certainly does!) and then make sure that I don’t get in his way, or even better, that I can compliment him and help him express his best self 🦄

The interesting part of this was getting my feedback on my second submission which was MUCH lower in points than my first lesson (which was only 2 points below a pass)… Now to put this in perspective, when I first submitted and received feedback on my Touchstones in Grade 1, I definitely reacted in compulsive desire. I did the Touchstones ‘to’ my horse and took the feedback personally, wasting energy wrestling with the feedback internally. I remember my feelings vividly. It took a few weeks to redirect my ‘perfectionist’ gremlin and put the valuable feedback into practice, what a waste of time!

This time, as soon as I got the news and realized why we had lost so many marks, I burst out laughing because I could see how we had swung to the other extreme and how obvious the solution was (once it was pointed out to me). I stayed in conscious desire this time – I still wanted to pass of course but the desire to pass didn’t outweigh the desire to learn. I learned SO much from the second lesson and SO much from swinging to the other extreme! Both the first and second resubmits enriched the process and fueled my fascination of this Longeing 4 enigma!

So I used my own personal ‘redirect’ questions:

Q: What is already good about what is happening?
A: I have experienced the other extreme of Liberty and made the mistake I see very often in workshops which is producing mechanically from the front, so I have a renewed empathy for and refreshed perspective of my students.
I have found out how willing my horse is even when I make the task almost impossible, go Delightful! 💪
I had experienced a massive drop in points and I didn’t fall victim to my ‘perfectionist’ gremlin, go me! 🤩

Q: What do I need to adjust to make it even better?
A: All the 2mm details in the feedback from my Touchstones and the additional coaching.

Q: How can I use this experience?
A: After the extreme focus and collection of the second lesson, going back to more of a ‘dialogue style’ made the script seem even easier than before!
I have a fresh experience of the tipping to the extreme and WHY I tipped to the extreme which I can use to serve my students better in lessons.

In the third and fourth lessons, Delightful and I found a much more equal dialogue again and then the tips in the additional coaching was to find the feeling of moving in my own body in harmony with his cadence. This led to some trial an error in terms of the difference between rhythm and cadence (which resulted in a very funny practice video of me moving in odd ways trying to find the right cadence and rhythm 😂). Then when I found the right feeling, it made a huge difference to the connection between myself and Delightful, because I wasn’t in the middle with him trotting around me, but the entire triangle of energy – me at the point, the line and the whip the two sides and Delightful as the base) were trotting together. What a discovery!

Through all of this experiential learning, what was highlighted for me was how the Mastery program and the Evaluation program really fit together like two puzzle pieces:

  • The Mastery program is the theory and the Evaluation program is the practice.
  • The Mastery program is the analytical, logical study and the Evaluation program is the explorative laboratory experience.
  • The Mastery program is the map and the Evaluation program is the territory.

The combination of BOTH programs along with the choice to play the ST game in conscious desire rather than compulsive desire sets us and our horses up for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual success. ☯

Then, in perfect timing, a student sent me the quote that I’ve put in the picture which really rings true for me but also made me laugh because I definitely saw myself in it! When I fall victim to compulsive desire or overachieving as the quote says, I lose quality in my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual states. But if I just ‘suck a little less every day’ or just improve on one tiny detail in each session with my horses, then even if I lose marks or lose some quality somewhere else, I can focus on what I won and build on that instead 🏛

It’s so great sharing the journey with you all, and thank you again for your amazing warmth and support! 😍🤗

~ Zaneta Georgiades, South Africa

Zaneta Georgiades is an ST Instructor, and Manager Operations of the ST Evaluation Program.

For more information, click here:

▶︎ ST Mastery Program

▶︎ ST Evaluation Program

▶︎ ST Academy

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