Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day Four: Increasing Distance

Official Records Information
45 minutes

Attracting Misty to me took an especially long time. She had very sticky feet! I had to be persistent and patient (in the proper positions). I even lost her focus several times. It was probably about five minutes before she latched on. Next time I will be a bit more insistent, maybe add a bit more drive, as her curiosity is really growing.

When I finally had a connection and momentum, I drove her to the tire pedestal. She was instantly interested and touched it. I rewarded her interest with three pellets and a short rest. I cued her very slightly with a little tiny point forward and she began to go through the phases of standing on it (touching it, pawing it, one foot on, back off, one foot on, two feet on, etc). My goal was to have her stand on the pedestal with four feet, but I was 100% willing to accept whatever the situation warranted, be it more or less than what I hoped for. She had a pretty firm handle on standing in it with 2 front feet, and I began to ask for the back end. She kept looking away, so as I cued, I would slowly back away until she could swing her head back to forward position. Then the phases would go up from wiggling my finger to shaking the string in my hand. I ended up being about 30' away from her at the greatest distance! And that is where we got the most done. I never got 4 feet today, but she did finally go over it. The closest we got to 4 feet was when I was far away, cued her, and she stepped her back legs all the way up to but not on the pedestal. I rewarded her and she stepped back with her legs during the rest.

After she stepped over the pedestal and moved on, I was leading us to several barrels (about 7) upended and set about in an area. I was planning to have her weave around them. She left me, simply veering from beside me. I backed away from her and yielded her hind quarters, smiled, and went to sit near a barrel, back to her. After about 30 seconds, she came back to me and I decided that that was a good time to end. She had her head lowered while I massaged her front legs. We relaxed for about 5 minutes, then I left, her following me to the fence.

I feel like today was a rough day for me because I misjudged our progress. I think that next time will be a 100% quiet time day. I was surprised at how she was so sensitive to me from the great distance, and that she could not handle me being close. Online, Misty is very confident with the pedestal. She will run to it and wait for a cookie. I could not believe the difference between that and this!

Natural Horsewoman Out.

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About Me

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I am a young horsewoman with a million things on my mind. I have been a student of the horse all my life. As a little girl, I had a desire to understand horses on deeper levels. I believed that there was no such thing as a bad horse, and I believed that all horses were beautiful. One might say that I was a naive child, but I guess I don't have an excuse anymore, because I still believe all of that, and Parelli Natural Horsemanship is helping expand on this perspective.

What We Are Currently Playing With

  • Moving Close Circles at Liberty
  • Soft, Balanced Canter on 45' Line
  • Zone 5 Driving