Friday, November 20, 2009

Day Two: The Pedestal

official Records Info:
45 minutes

I only worked with Misty, yesterday. She never left me through the whole thing, and stayed in tune to and intrigued with me for the entirety of the session. I started by attracting her to me by improving my draw via improving my drive. I spent most of my time with her working with the pedestal (12+ inch high tractor tire filled with dirt), then I walked to the fence to leave, but since she followed me at the quick pace I kept, I stood and gave her a good massage.
I spent a while attracting her to me, and we made some definite progress. I would do the typical catching dance where I stalk her hindquarters, she yields them and gives me her eyes, I stand up, smile, and retreat from her, she follows. When she stops, I would judge what kind of stop it was then respond with the proper dance step. If she had an ear out of place (not focused on me), her weight was beginning to shift away, or her eyes were not latched to me, I would repeat the stalking etc. If she was completely focused on me with her body and mind, stopped because of a lack of momentum or reason to follow, I would unstick her feet by simply casually walking (still standing up straight and smiling) sideways in an arc around her that would eventually take me to her hind quarters. But I never made it to her hindquarters to stalk them because she would come unstuck and start following me again. It was slow going, but I am glad I did not become frustrated and just grab her mane or start driving her. In fact, I found that I have been much more relaxed than I have been. Sometimes, I used to feel the frustration start to tickle the edge of my consciousness, but now, nothing. I just become more interested. I am also less hurt when and if she moves away or won't follow me because I just become more interested in how to fix it. The fact that I have come to accept the answer makes it better, too.
Once Misty was following me with momentum, I walked to the pedestal and pointed to it (her cue to interact with something). She knows what this means and has stood on the pedestal many times. However, since she was at liberty, I rewarded her as though she was just learning it (with 3 tiny pellets of her feed). I started by rewarding her for looking at it, then shifting her weight, then taking 1, 2, and 3 steps, then lifting a foot, then pawing it. I spent a lot time in between asking for more to just stand and relax, rub her, etc. I was so proud of her when she pawed it, that I rubbed her and decided to end the session by walking away. She seemed a little baffled at that and stood at the pedestal just watching for the first several steps. Then she hustled after me (at the walk). I gave her treats and massaged her (as I said) when I got to the fence. I left before she got tired of the back lifts that I did after the enjoyable massaging.
I hope that I have communicated how much these TWO sessions have made me feel about my relationship with my horses. If I reach my goals set in the previous post before a month is up, I will start online before planned, too. I can't believe that I have had so much success. I thought I would be spending a little bit of time with my horse and most of the time doing the attracting dance.

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